A delegation of North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently visited Angola in an effort to strengthen and expand bilateral ties, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Monday.
The delegation, led by Ho Yong Bok, the Director General for Africa, Arab and Latin America, met with several government officials.
“During the visit, Ho made courtesy calls on the acting minister for External Relations who is secretary of State of the Ministry and the secretary of External Relations of the Angola People’s Liberation Movement who is member of the Political Committee of its Central Committee,” the article read.
“During the visit the two sides agreed to conduct active exchanges of delegations of various levels, expand cooperation in such fields as public health, construction and information technology and further mutual support and cooperation in the international arena,” it added.
The article also paraphrased comments by Angela Braganca – the Angola State Secretary for Cooperation at the foreign ministry – and other unnamed Angolan officials.
The officials “said that Angola, as a friend who has stood in the same trench with the DPRK in the joint struggle, expresses full support for the Korean people in their efforts to defend the sovereignty of the country and achieve its peaceful reunification,” according to KCNA.
NK News contacted Braganca for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
North Korea and Angola established diplomatic relations in 1975 and in recent years have been involved in cooperation that has garnered the attention of the UN Panel of Experts (PoE), tasked with monitoring the enforcement of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions against North Korea.
This includes North Korea’s export of military and dual use goods to Angola, the provision of military and security training services and the presence of North Korean representatives of a sanctioned entity in Luanda.
The intention to cooperate further in construction activities may also draw the attention of the UN and also U.S. authorities.
Mansudae Overseas Projects (MOP), an entity designated by the U.S., was revealed by the PoE to have a substantial presence in Angola. MOP had previously exported statues to Angola, a practice that is now banned under the UNSC Resolution 2321.
Angolan authorities told the PoE that MOP had been involved in 56 construction projects until February 2015. The PoE observed ongoing MOP activity and North Korean personnel working on its behalf in Angola in September of 2016.
The visit to Angola is the second trip to an African country by Ho’s delegation, who state media reported as having travelled to Ethiopia in order to also step up bilateral ties.
As with Monday’s report on the delegation’s trip to Angola, KCNA did not provide a clear date range for the visits and the corresponding country’s ministries also appear not to have highlighted the presence of DPRK officials there.
Ho’s delegation is not the only foreign ministry envoy that has toured African countries in 2017 with Vice -Minister of Foreign Affairs – Sin Hong Chol – visiting what KCNA described vaguely as “some Arabian countries”.
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Featured Image: National Assembly Building by D-Stanley on 2015-04-08 11:28:05