SEOUL - North Korea on Monday declared a three-day official mourning period for the death of former Cuban president Fidel Castro.
The 90-year-old leader of the Cuban revolution was a "close friend" of the country, state media Rodong said.
The mouthpiece of the country's only party also reported that the Workers' Party of Korea, the parliament and the government declared the three-day mourning period between Monday and Wednesday for Castro, who had maintained close ties with the Kim regime.
Flags will be hoisted at half-mast at institutions and other designated places during the period, the report further said, adding that Castro was the first person in the Western Hemisphere to establish the Socialist system and that he led Cuba to prosperity and happiness.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had already expressed his condolences over the leader's death in a message to his brother and current Cuban president Raul Castro.
In the missive, Kim Jong-un, who is the third generation of the Kim family dynastic leadership, welcomed that Cuba will be under the leadership of Raul Castro Ruz as per Fidel Castro's wishes.
He also praised the dedication of the Cuban leader to strengthen and develop friendly relations between the two countries for over half a century.
Despite ideological differences between Havana and Pyongyang, the two nations have largely maintained their good ties.
Castro's first and only visit to North Korea was in 1986, during which he met the country's founder Kim Il-sung, and his son and successor Kim Jong-il, the current leader's grandfather and father, respectively.