A report published by an eight member panel of experts on September 9 showed that the United Nations is set to probe North Korea’s military cooperation with 11 African countries.
It is no longer news that the UN is cracking down on North Korea even recently piling on sanctions against the nation that continues to stubbornly carry out nuclear tests and missile launches.
The report in question claimed that North Korea had voided its international sanctions and provided military and security assistance to Tanzania, Uganda, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Mozambique, Namibia, Benin, Botswana, Mali, and Zimbabwe.
North Korea apparently used private companies and embassies as a front and sold arms and offered security and military training to these nations. The communist state has not exactly had altruistic reasons for this move. It has been searching for allies in a world that seems to be ostracizing it more and more. African countries are certainly an option where more powerful nations are standing against them.
In fact, the relationship between North Korea and Africa dates back to the Cold War when the country was looking to find allies among newly liberated, socialist countries in Africa.
Angola was found to be in possession of North Korean marine engines and military boats in June 2015 and at a summit in Kampala in May 2016, South Korean officials announced that Uganda had pledged to stop military dealings with North Korea after a UN report revealed the pariah state was offering security training to the Ugandan police force.
The new report shows more dealings with other African countries. For instance, it reveals that a North Korean company fixed and improved surface-to-air missile systems in Tanzania. Foreign affairs minister D. Suzan Kolimba, claimed not to have know about the report or the upgrades to surface-to-air missile systems while speaking to The Citizen.