Cuba expresses N. Korea support, calls for US 'dialogue'

Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the country is "in favor of peace and stability" in the troubled Korean peninsula

Cuba, one of North Korea's few allies, called on Wednesday for "peace and stability" in the Korean peninsula and stressed the need for dialogue to reduce tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

Upon receiving his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-Ho in Havana, foreign affairs minister Bruno Rodriguez said Cuba is "in favor of peace and stability," adding that "only after dialogue and negotiations can a lasting political solution be achieved," according to Cuban media.

In the wake of President Trump's declaration of North Korea as a state sponsor of terror on Monday, Rodriguez also rejected what he called the United States' "unilateral certifications and dictates" on North Korea -- insisting they served as a basis for "the application of coercive measures contrary to international law."

Meanwhile, Ri blamed the "increased use of imperialist military force" for the worsening situation in the Korean peninsula, and stressed the importance of Cuba-North Korea relations as "two socialism-building countries."

His visit comes as Pyongyang and Washington continue to clash over North Korea's numerous ballistic missile and nuclear tests -- while US-Cuba relations, re-established in 2015 after a 50-year stand-off, have also deteriorated under President Trump.

On September 23, Ri denounced Trump in a speech at the United Nations, and expressed "strong support and solidarity with the Cuban government and people."

In May, President Raul Castro also expressed Cuba's solidarity with Pyongyang to visiting North Korean union leader Ju Yong-Gil.