Fidel Castro. Image Source: PK

Pyongyang, April 28 : North Korea has stepped up diplomatic efforts to win support from developing countries amid tension with the US, the media reported on Friday.

North Korean diplomats recently met the heads of state or government of several African and Arab countries, while sending messages to Syria, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Tanzania expressing willingness to strengthen ties, Xinhua news agency reported.

Pyongyang's efforts in engaging Arab countries was on display this week in a meeting between North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Sin Hong Chol and his Algerian counterpart Hassane Rabehi.

"The Vice Minister stressed the need to expand bilateral relations unaffected by the change of the situation," the report said.

North Korea supports Arab countries in their wars with Israel, backs the Syrian government in the ongoing civil war, and maintains close ties with Iran. It also has diplomatic ties with Palestine.

Meeting the North Korean envoy this week, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said his country will further develop friendly relations with Pyongyang.

North Korea also maintains close ties with Cuba, whose late leader Fidel Castro had enjoyed good relations with the Communist nation's founding President Kim Il-sung.

A North Korean delegation left for Cuba on Thursday to attend an international labour unions' conference in Havana.

Prior to the delegation's arrival, Aise Sotolong, Cuban Ambassador to North Korea, held a reception on Wednesday in Havana to mark the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung.

The ambassador said the Cuban people will extend support and solidarity to the just cause of the Korean people, who are protecting the country's sovereignty and always stand by them in the struggle against imperialism.

Some African countries have kept close ties with North Korea due to its historical solidarity with the continent in its fight for independence.

Equatorial Guinean President Obiang Mbasogo recently said the relations between the two countries had a history of nearly five decades.

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