The North Korean media reported Sunday that Syrian President Bashar Assad is due in Pyongyang for an official state visit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Much of the instant media commentary regarding the announcement claimed that it is nothing more than a testament to the deep, long-standing ties between the two isolated nations, whose rogue behavior has caused both to be shunned by the international community.
The problem with this interpretation is that neither leader is isolated.
With the planned summit with President Donald Trump back on for June 12, Kim is about to score North Korea’s greatest diplomatic achievement since the hermit kingdom was established in the aftermath of the Korean armistice in 1952.
Last week, Kim received a visit from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who invited him to come to a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this year. Kim has had two meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-In, and has had two meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, in just the past three months.