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Washington still has to review Sudan North Korea relations

May 2, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Washington said it needs more evidence proving that Sudan cut effectively any military or economic ties with North Korea in violations of international sanctions.

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Models of a North Korean Scud-B missile (C) and South Korean Hawk surface-to-air missiles are seen at the Korean War Memorial Museum in Seoul February 17, 2011 (Reuters)

According to a U.S. diplomatic note leaked by Wikileaks in 2011, the Sudanese government had secretly engaged talks with North Korea for the purchase of medium-range ballistic missiles, short-range missiles, and anti-tank missiles in 2008.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea met the Sudanese defence minister on Monday 30 April to discuss a number of issues including Sudan’s relations with North Korea.

The ministry of defence in a statement released after the meeting said Minister Awad Ibn Ouf reaffirmed Sudan’s commitment to the UN resolutions on North Korea, and to fight terrorism in the framework of international cooperation.

However, a U.S. official on Monday told the Agence France Press on the conditions of anonymity they want to be sure that Khartoum terminated “all business ties” with Pyongyang before to discuss Sudan’s removal from the list of states supporting terrorism.

"There is lot more that we need to see in the way of evidence provided to us that the business has been terminated." "No more business, period. Give us the evidence that in fact you are stopping it. That’s what they have to do with us," he told the AFP.

Washington and Khartoum say ready to resume talks on full normalization of bilateral relations but they didn’t yet fix a date.

For the Sudan’s removal from the blacklist, Washington requires to guarantee freedoms in the countries particularly the religious freedom.

However, Enough Project in a report released in February 2018, suggested the need to consider Sudan’s relations with terror groups in the region saying Khartoum maintains “alliances and policy stances” that threaten U.S. interests, U.S. allies, and security in multiple regions across Africa and the Middle East.

In October 2017, Washington decided to cancel a 20-year economic embargo on Sudan in line with a five-track framework concluded by the two countries in December 2016.

(ST)