SA diplomat heads to North Korea

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South African International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister, Ebrahim Ebrahim, is on an official visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The two-day visit, aimed at strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, will give Ebrahim an opportunity to engage North Korea on opening up to South Korea, and also to go back to the Sixty Party Talks that are intended to end North Korea’s nuclear programme through negotiations.

South Africa has been urging North Korea not to go ahead with the building of the nuclear bomb.

Although South Africa respects the rights of all Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) member states to legitimately develop nuclear energy for peaceful civilian purposes, it believes that a nuclear arsenal does not confer greater security for any state.

“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,” said the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

Diplomatic relations between South Africa and the DPRK were established in August 1998.

The two countries enjoy cordial relations, which date back due to the historic support that the DPRK provided during the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

However, economic relations between the two countries remain limited due to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed sanctions resulting from the DPRK’s nuclear programme, which plays out on the ongoing Korean Peninsula tension.

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