Relations between the United States and North Korea have taken an even sharper turn. "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States," Donald Trump said at the Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey. "They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before." If Trump delivers on that "fire and fury" threat, it's worth wondering whether Cuba would side with North Korea or the United States in the event of a nuclear war.
To understand the likelihood of Cuba supporting North Korea in a nuclear attack, take a look at the bilateral relations between the two countries. Since 1960, North Korea and Cuba have maintained diplomatic relations with each other. There is a Cuban embassy in Pyongyang and a North Korean embassy in Havana.
Much of the support for each other comes from the fact that both states view the other as allies in socialist ideals for their citizens. In 1968, Fidel Castro's brother, Raúl, described North Korea as "identical" to Cuba on "everything." Later on, in 1986, Fidel himself visited North Korea. When Fidel died this past year, North Korea declared a period of mourning, with Kim Jong-un calling him a "close friend and comrade" of the country.
An obituary for Castro was also given in the North Korean state newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, where it expressed gratitude to the Cuban leader for "fighting in the outposts of the anti-US, anti-imperialist struggle."
At this moment, there have been no official words from Cuba in favor or against North Korea on the subject of testing its nuclear weapons, nor has the state commented on Trump's controversial remarks. But North Korean locals remain defiant in the face of Trump's "fire and fury" remarks. Al Jazeera English reported that "thousands of North Koreans" publicly gathered to protest the American president's threat.
Given their bilateral diplomacy, it would not be surprising if Cuba showed support for North Korea should a nuclear attack take place. After all, considering their relations go back to the 1960s, Cuban officials have visited North Korea, and North Korea has officially mourned one of Cuba's most revolutionary and prominent political figures, it's fair to say the countries are close.
That said, even with recent developments, there is some hope that the world will never know whether Cuba would side with North Korea or the United States in the event of a nuclear war.
Foreign policy analysts and experts on the bitter relations between the United States and North Korea believe that in spite of Trump's charged language, a nuclear attack will not take place, saying the American leader's comments should not be taken seriously.