Relations between Pyongyang and Damascus began in 1966, when the two states established diplomatic relations.13 Both were allies of the Soviet Union and belonged to the same Cold War camp.
Shortly after the establishment of relations, North Korea sent 25 pilots to Syria to participate in the June 1967 war against Israel. After the war, Pyongyang sent more pilots, soldiers, and technicians to assist Syria. In the October 1973 war, North Korea sent pilots to fly combat missions with the Syrian and Egyptian air forces.14
Since that period, bilateral relations have been upgraded to include political, economic, and military cooperation....