South Africa, North Korea seek to forge closer ties

posted in: Africa

Photo: dailymaverick


Cape Town, South Africa – South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relation and Cooperation Ebrahim Ebrahim on Tuesday departed for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for a scheduled three-day official visit.

The visit, aimed at strengthening bilateral relations which were established between the two countries in 1998, marks the first visit to that country since former Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad visited Pyongyang in 2005.

The two countries enjoy a cordial relation that dates back due to the historic support which the DPRK provided during the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

However, Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman notes that economic relations between the two countries remains limited due to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)-imposed sanctions as a result of DPRK’s nuclear programme which plays out on the ongoing Korean Peninsula tension.

“In this regard, South Africa holds very strong views on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, which it conveys to the DPRK on all occasions by indicating that the strength of a country is in its economy, not in its military as one can win war but lose peace,” Monyela said.

He said South Africa has been urging North Korea not to go ahead with building of Nuclear Bomb.

“Equally so, South Africa respects the rights of all Non-Proliferation Treaty member states to legitimately develop nuclear energy for peaceful civilian purposes. However, South Africa believes that a nuclear arsenal does not confer greater security for any state,” the spokesman said.

During the visit, Ebrahim will further encourage North Korea to open up to South Korea and also go back to the Sixty Party Talks, aimed at ending North Korea’s Nuclear programme through negotiations.