All North Korean security instructors who have been training Ugandan forces will leave the country by the end of this year, the Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of North Korea (DRNK), Mr Myong Kyong Chol, has announced.
“We have been here on a mutual arrangement but now, we are taking a break. If the Uganda government wants us to continue, we will continue because we have a good relationship with African countries, including Uganda. Our military and police cooperation will expire this year and it is very natural for the personnel of the DRNK to leave the country,” Mr Chol told journalists at the North Korean Embassy in Kololo on Friday.
This has come after South Korea’s move to create stronger ties with the nation (Uganda).
The diplomat said Uganda and North Korea have been renewing their military and police cooperation agreements after every six months but noted that there was no hope for a new deal.
Mr Chol said some of the personnel had already left the country. He noted that preparations to leave the country started at the beginning of this year since the contract between the countries was expiring.
“Frankly speaking, we started practical preparation for withdrawal of our personnel due to the expiry of contracts since early this year,” he said.
Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa told journalists last month that Uganda, following the UN sanctions, against N. Korea had disengaged relations with N. Korea over nuclear weapons. In March, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on N. Korea after it launched ballistic missiles. The sanctions prohibit all UN member states from engaging with embargoed states in activities such as trade or transfer of technology.
On the issue of nuclear weapons, Mr Chol said his country would continue strengthening its capacity and would counter any measures in any way possible to preserve the country’s sovereignty and “right to live”.
Nevertheless, the North Korean ambassador said he was happy that his countrymen were leaving a strong and professional Uganda police and Uganda People’s Defence Forces.
North Korean trainers have facilitated police training since 2007 while it has been longer with the UPDF.
The role will now be taken over by their arch-rival, South Korea whose leader held talks with President Museveni on defence and security during her visit last month.