Palestine leader congratulates Kim Jong Un on anniversary

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  Aug. 16, 2017 at 3:17 AM
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Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent a congratulatory message to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the 72nd anniversary of Korean liberation from Japanese colonial rule.

Wafa, the news agency of the Palestinian National Authority, reported Tuesday the Palestinian leader sent a message praising the North Korean regime.

"The [North] Korean people offered the most precious sacrifices for their freedom and dignity," Abbas said in his statement. "We send prayers for the stability and prosperity of the people of North Korea."

The Palestinian leader said his country and North Korea have sustained a "historic friendship," and wished Kim, who has been condemned for his pursuit of nuclear weapons development, "health and happiness."

Abbas stayed away from references to the ongoing crisis on the peninsula, and did not mention the exchange of verbal threats between U.S. President Donald Trump and Pyongyang last week.

Trump threatened "fire and fury" against North Korea, and Pyongyang's news agency warned the country could create an "enveloping fire" around the U.S. territory of Guam with a missile attack.

Abbas' praise of the North Korean regime prompted Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett to issue a condemnation on Twitter.

"First Hitler, then S. Hussein, now Kim Jong Un. If you want to take a moral stand, check who the Palestinians support and do the opposite," Bennett tweeted.

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