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Uganda in process of severing military ties with N. Korea: Seoul

Uganda has terminated all of its police-related ties with North Korea and is now reviewing whether to suspend military contracts with the communist regime, the foreign ministry here said Monday, following a meeting between senior diplomats from the two countries.

The action taken by the Eastern African country is an implementation of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's pledge to sever security and military relations with North Korea, after his meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye in late May.

In a follow-up to the pledge and the latest United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 2270, Uganda has terminated all bilateral contracts with North Korea on the police-related front and is currently considering suspension of remaining military cooperation ties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

The latest development was announced after Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam held a high-level policy consultation meeting with James Mugume, permanent secretary of the Ugandan foreign ministry.

Mugume stressed "North Korea should not develop nuclear weapons and it should abide by UNSC resolutions and its previous commitment to denuclearization," according to the ministry. The Ugandan official also asserted the resources being funneled to North Korea's nuclear weapons development should instead be utilized for national development, the ministry said.

The South Korean side appreciated Uganda's efforts and called for the African country's continued cooperation in implementing U.N. sanctions on North Korea, the ministry said.

Having visited North Korea three times, Museveni had long been viewed as being close to Pyongyang before he came out to renounce cooperative ties in the wake of the latest UNSC resolution adopted after North Korea carried out its fourth nuclear test in January.

During Monday's meeting, the senior officials also vowed to push forward efforts to secure "substantial progress" in their cooperation in the fields of agriculture, public health, infrastructure building, energy development, defense and tourism, the ministry said.

The two countries also agreed to step up collaboration over defense and police affairs, the ministry added. (Yonhap)


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