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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.
The Zimbabwe Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade confirmed to NK News on Tuesday that it ordered multiple North Korean citizens to leave the country in 2018, in order to be in compliance with UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions against the DPRK.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gideon Gapare, confirmed to NK News by phone on Tuesday that this was the case and that the expulsions should have occurred in 2018. Gapare added that further action had been taken in 2018 against the company.
“Indeed there were persons who were associated with the North Koreans and after investigations, the authorities deemed it necessary to terminate any commercial undertakings that were happening at that particular time,” Gapare said.
“This was obligated by the UN Security Council resolutions specifically on North Korea as part of the sanctions against their nuclear program. Zimbabwe as a bonafide member of the United Nations is obligated by the general undertakings by that organ and indeed its arms including the security council and in this particular case the security council resolutions,” he added.
In its 2018 report, a UN Panel of Experts (PoE) tasked with monitoring DPRK sanctions enforcement, wrote that it was investigating multiple entities in Zimbabwe affiliated with North Korea’s sanctioned Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies (MOP).
It noted that “Zimbabwe provided information on two Mansudae companies, “Mansudae Ordinance Supplies” and “Mansudae Boka Design Company”, stating that the latter is “not a subsidiary of Mansudae Overseas Project or Mansudae Art Studio”.
According to Zimbabwe, Mansudae Boka Design Company was involved in gold, precious metals, and jewelry with the panel adding that its two directors were North Korean citizens.
“Zimbabwe informed the Panel that the company was being dissolved,” the report said.
MOP has historically operated throughout Africa was commissioned by multiple states for construction projects which included statues and monuments.
While Zimbabwe was communicating with the UN Panel of Experts, it has not yet filed a national implementation report detailing its enforcement efforts as required under UNSC resolutions.