North Korea: Kim Jong-un's number two Kim Yong-nam wishes Queen happy birthday

Analysts believe the reclusive nation could be looking to make new friends

Kim Jong-un touring an apartment construction site in Pyongyang
Kim Jong-un touring an apartment construction site in Pyongyang

An isolated North Korea has appeared keen to develop ties outside of its notoriously tight network, after sending its best wishes to the Queen on her official birthday.

The birthday wishes were sent by Kim Yong-nam, the president of the Presidium of the Supreme Assembly of North Korea and the country’s second most powerful person, the official KCNA news agency reports.

"The message wished the queen good health and happ[iness] and the British people well-being and prosperity," the report said.

The KCNA also said the British embassy in Pyongyang marked the occasion with a reception attended by officials including the Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade.

Analysts believe a typically insular North Korea must be in dire need of external support, particularly as China appears to be edging closer towards developing an alliance with South Korea.

"North Korea is looking for new friends, while they have also sent officials to London to make money on the stock market and seek development aid," Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor at Tokyo's Waseda University and an authority on North Korean affairs, told The Telegraph.

"But there is also real concern in the leadership there that the regime could collapse without China's support, so they are looking for a country that might provide them with political asylum," he added. "It is possible that they think Britain might provide that."

President Kim Jong-un also sent a message congratulating Bashar al-Assad on his re-election in Syria, the KCNA reported on 5 June.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in