The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has clarified on statement attributed to Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa by the local media that that Uganda had severed diplomatic relations with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRPK).
In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Mugume, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that, contrary to media reports attributed to Foreign Affairs Minister, Uganda had not severed its ties with North Korea. The statement said that Uganda's government was simply "disengaging from military co-operation" and not cutting diplomatic ties with the North Koreans.
Ambassador Mugume noted that, media remarks by Minister of Foreign Affairs were taken grossly out of context, given that he was responding to a question on whether, in light of the United Security Council resolution 2276, the Government of Uganda would continue working with the DPRK which has been offering military and police training to Uganda. “His detailed response was reduced to a sound bite which was clearly understood by those in the diplomatic community but not by our local media fraternity,” the statement reads.
North Korea Government has over the past years been training Ugandan security forces in physical fitness, marine warfare and weapons handling, and senior leaders from North Korea have visited Uganda over the years.
By way of further clarification, the Ministry said that the disengagement of defence and police cooperation does not imply that Uganda has severed its relations with DRPK. “We have a bilateral framework agreement with several countries which are revised, adjusted and cancelled regularly. These changes should not be seen as severance of diplomatic relations. Severing of diplomatic relations is usually an act preceding a war between 2 states and is considered an act of hostility,” the statement reads.
Local media quoted Kutesa on Sunday saying that Uganda was cutting military ties with North Korea to comply with U.N. sanctions over North Korea's nuclear program, following a meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye whose 2 day state visit ended Monday.