Namibia is implementing United Nations sanctions against North Korea and cutting ties with two high-profile entities, a statement sent to NK News by the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation read on Thursday.
The two entities, the Korean Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) and Mansudae Overseas Projects (MOP), have been operating in Namibia and involved in construction of military facilities.
“The Government of the Republic of Namibia, in fulfilling her international obligations to abide by UN Security resolutions, has decided to terminate the services of KOMID and MOP in Namibia, for as long as the UN Security Council sanctions against the DPRK are in place,” the statement read.
The move is in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2270, which was unanimously passed in early March following North Korea’s fourth underground nuclear test and another satellite launch. Both of these activities are in violation of previous UN resolutions against the DPRK.
KOMID has long been a designated entity and is identified as being North Korea’s primary arms dealer. MOP, while not a sanctioned entity, has been involved in contracts in Africa and generates funds for the North Korean government primarily via construction projects.
This includes, among other things, the construction of a munitions factory at Leopard Valley, in the Windhoek area which was done in conjunction with KOMID, according to a recent UN Panel of Experts (PoE) report on North Korean sanctions. Such activities are in violation of UN resolutions.
“Namibia confirmed that Mansudae was involved in several military construction projects, including the military academy and the ongoing construction of the headquarters of the Ministry of Defence,” the 2016 PoE report read.
MOP was also involved in the construction of the Heroes Acre monument and the Namibian State House.
“North Korea has been working hard to keep its foreign partners onside in the face of strengthened UN sanctions. Namibia’s decision represents a significant setback for North Korea in that respect,” Andrea Berger, deputy director of the Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Program at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told NK News.
“The end of Mansudae’s regular and substantial activities in the country will result in a loss of important revenue for the North Korean regime,” Berger added, also saying that the decision to cut MOP off would damage the company’s business prospects in other parts of Africa.
The announcement comes following a recent visit to Pyongyang on June 25 by a Namibian delegation led by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations And Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
The press statement says that the reason for this visit was to specifically notify Namibia’s North Korean counterparts of its decision to implement Resolution 2270.
“The Meetings were held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding,” the statement read.
While notifying both the government of North Korea and the UN Security Council of its decision to implement Resolution 2270, the Namibian government also said that diplomatic ties would continue.
“While Namibia remains committed to the implementation of all UN sanctions resolutions, the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation wishes to state that the warm diplomatic relations with the DPRK will be maintained.”
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Featured Image: Heroes' Acre by Raymond June on 2010-10-31 11:53:14