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View more articles by Hamish Macdonald
Hamish Macdonald is an NK News contributor and has previously worked at The Korea Herald and for the Australia Centre for Independent Journalism in Sydney.
Correction: Initial error in headline amended.
Angola’s secretary of the interior discussed cooperation in the matters of security and public order with North Korean representatives during a meeting in the Angolan capital of Luanda, according to ANGOP press on Thursday.
The meeting, which was between Secretary Hermenegildo José Félix and North Korea’s ambassador was held last week, according to the Angolan press agency report.
“Matters relating to the sharing of experiences in the area of public order and security dominated the meeting,” the article read.
“The Angolan Ministry of the Interior thanked the contribution of the people and government of North Korea have made to Angola, since the early period of the African country’s struggle for national liberation,” it added.
While the short article did not state what the “sharing of experiences” entailed or if and when it has occurred, the current training of security forces by North Korea would breach existing United Nations resolutions against the country.
“The amount of information available about possible new dealings between the DPRK and Angola is insufficient to make a determination about whether or not sanctions violations are occurring or contemplated,” former member of the UN Panel of Experts (PoE) on North Korea, William Newcomb, told NK News on Thursday.
“Nonetheless the topic of sharing experiences in the area of public order and security is troubling.”
Current UN resolutions prohibit the procurement of “all arms and related materiel, as well as to financial transactions, technical training, advice, services or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of” that material from North Korea.
The latest UN Resolution 2270 also clarifies this position, prohibiting “States from engaging in the hosting of trainers, advisors, or other officials for the purpose of military -, paramilitary- or police-related training.”
Such a breach of sanctions occurred as a result of training services provided by North Korea to Uganda’s police force and marines, a relationship Uganda had subsequently defended to the PoE despite its illegality, according to Newcomb.
“Implementation of sanctions depends on Member States faithfully carrying out their obligations, not seeking ways to undermine the effect of the resolutions by willful misreading of the measures, as in this case with Uganda..,” Newcomb added.
Angola was also implicated in the 2011 purchase of North Korean naval patrol boats, which is also a violation of UNSC resolution 1718 and 1874.
The transaction involved the Saengpil Associated Company, a known alias of Green Pine Associated Corporation, which had taken over the operations of Korea Mining Development Corporation (KOMID) – North Korea’s largest weapons trader.
A PoE report published in 2015 acknowledged that the company’s designation occurred after the sale of the boats but that the purchase was still a breach of sanctions.
“These incidents took place before Green Pine’s May 2012 designation by the Committee. The Panel nevertheless notes that brokering by the Democratic People ’s Republic of Korea of arms transactions is prohibited by resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009), as noted by paragraph 7 of resolution 2094 (2013),” their report read.
Angola is also currently serving on the UN Security Council and is therefore an automatic member of the 1718 committee tasked with managing the sanctions against North Korea.
“It (Angola) cannot convincingly claim misunderstanding of the provisions,” Newcomb told NK News, referring to Angola’s position in the 1718 committee.
“Should Angola be involved with any sanctions busting activity it would be a flagrant violation and should bring swift and sure condemnation from the other members of the Security Council. But forgive me if I don’t hold my breath,” Newcomb added.