JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Namibia has told two North Korean companies that their services are no longer needed in the southern Africa country while U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang remain in place over its nuclear and missile tests.
Namibia is the latest African nation to cut ties as international pressure mounts to tighten and better enforce sanctions on Pyongyang. In May, Uganda announced it was cutting military, but not diplomatic, ties with North Korea to comply with sanctions.
Namibia’s deputy prime minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, went to Pyongyang to convey the news to North Korea’s foreign minister, according to a statement from Namibia’s foreign ministry.
Namibia’s “warm diplomatic relations” with North Korea will remain, said the statement issued Thursday.
Namibia terminated the services of the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, or KOMID, and Mansudae Overseas Projects, North Korea’s rival South Korea said Friday. The United Nations sanctions list describes KOMID as North Korea’s “primary arms dealer.”
KOMID reportedly worked on construction of a munitions factory in Namibia, a U.N. panel of experts report said this year, and Namibia confirmed that Mansudae “was involved in several military construction projects.” Mansudae Overseas Projects is better-known for its construction of large monuments in Africa and elsewhere.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye during a three-nation African tour in May pressed for the isolation of North Korea to persuade it to stop the production of nuclear weapons.
Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim in Seoul contributed.