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North Korea sends condolences to Mali president

A North Korean official said Pyongyang takes a principled stand against acts of terror.

By
Elizabeth Shim
North Korea sent messages of condolence to Mali's government after Islamic militants stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako, Mali's capital. Photo by Katherine Welles/Shutterstock
North Korea sent messages of condolence to Mali's government after Islamic militants stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako, Mali's capital. Photo by Katherine Welles/Shutterstock

SEOUL, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A top North Korean official sent condolences to Mali's president last Friday, after a terror attack at a major hotel in Bamako left at least 21 people dead.

North Korea's state-controlled media outlet KCNA reported on Tuesday that Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, had sent the message to Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to convey his condolences.

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"I express my sincere condolences and sympathy to your Excellency, your Government and your people, after hearing the sad news that an extreme act of terrorism has led to many casualties in your capital," Kim wrote, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

South Korean newspaper Kookje Shinmun reported that Kim also denounced acts of terror against civilian populations.

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"We once again reaffirm [North Korea's] principled stand against acts of terror, and stand in solidarity with your country's government and people who will make efforts to achieve political stability and unity" in the aftermath of the attacks, Kim wrote.

Last Friday, Islamic militants stormed a luxury hotel in Bamako, Mali's capital, killing at least 21 people after taking several guests as hostages.

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Many of the victims were foreign businessmen, including Russian and Chinese nationals.

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Yonhap reported North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong also sent a letter of condolence to the foreign minister of Mali.

Earlier on Nov. 17 North Korea had sent a letter of condolence to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in the aftermath of the Paris terror attacks on Nov. 13.

North Korea has denied connections to militant groups that have been responsible for recent attacks against civilians, and accused South Korea's spy agency of "slander and fabrications" after Seoul's National Assembly Intelligence Committee had said on Nov. 18 that North Korea has possible ties to the Islamic State – the group also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL.

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