SYRIA’S president, Bashar al-Assad, is interested in visiting North Korea and meeting leader Kim Jong Un, according to the North’s state-run news agency.

A KCNA report said Assad made the comments on May 30 while receiving the credentials for the North Korean ambassador.

Assad was quoted as saying: “I am going to visit the DPRK and meet HE Kim Jong Un.”

DPRK is an acronym for the North’s official name, the Democratic Republic of Korea.

There was no indication such a trip had been planned.

The report also quoted Assad saying he was sure Kim would “achieve the final victory and realise the reunification of Korea”.

A meeting would represent the first time a head of state has visited Kim in his homeland since he succeeded his father in 2011.

The revelations are not entirely unexpected, as the two nations have a history of cooperation.

Diplomatic channels were opened in 1966 and by 1973 North Korea was sending soldiers and arms to support Syria during the Arab-Israel war.

More recently, North Korea has been accused of shipping materials to Syria that could be used in the production of chemical weapons – something both countries deny.