SEOUL-- Cuban leader Raul Castro Ruz has voiced solidarity with North Korea in their joint front against the United States, Pyongyang's state media said Thursday.

The president of the Council of State of Cuba made the remark Monday when he met with Ju Yong-gil, the head of a group of North Korean unions, who visited Cuba for a meeting of the world's federation on trade unions, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"Referring to the present situation on the Korean Peninsula, Raul Castro Ruz said that Cuba extends full support to the Workers' Party of Korea and the Korean people in their just struggle, and will always stand with them in the anti-U.S. joint front," it said.

North Korea has highlighted its ties with Cuba as it is seeking to break its deepening diplomatic isolation amid tougher sanctions imposed due to its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

North Korea and Cuba have long maintained a close relationship since they established their diplomatic relationship in 1960.

North Korea sent Choe Ryong-hae, a ranking party official, to Havana last November to pay tribute to Fidel Castro. Pyongyang called the late former Cuban leader a "close friend and comrade" of North Koreans.

Castro visited the North in March 1986 at the invitation of late former North Korean leader Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of the incumbent leader Kim Jong-un.

Source: Yonhap News Agency