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Before visit of UN monitors, Sudan again denies military cooperation with North Korea

June 6, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan foreign ministry welcomed a visit by the UN panel of experts investigating violations of sanctions on North Korea and stressed that it cancelled any military contracts with Pyongyang in line with its commitment to UN resolution 1718 (2006).

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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)

In a statement released in Khartoum, Sudanese government welcomed a visit by the UN panel that monitors compliance with sanctions on North Korea to Khartoum but did not provide further details on the reason of the visit or its date.

"The Government of Sudan would like to emphasize that Sudan’s Military Industry Cooperation has cancelled all contracts signed between it and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and has stopped any relationship with it directly or through a third party," said Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Garib Allah Khidir.

The Sudanese diplomat further said that his government has set up a commission to prepare a national report on the implementation of the UN Security Council sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

He added that this report which is under preparation would be handed over to the UN experts on North Koreas as soon as possible.

On 30 April, U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing Marshall Billingslea met the Sudanese defence minister to discuss issues related to Sudan’s military relations with North Korea.

At the same time, a U.S. official stated that they want to verify Khartoum ties with Pyongyang before to discuss Sudan’s removal from the list of states supporting terrorism.

"There is a 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.

NEW ACCUSATIONS

In its report to the Security Council on 5 March 2018, the UN experts said they investigated military cooperation between Sudan and North Korea and the activities of Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID), Pyongyang arms dealer and exporter of goods and equipment related to ballistic missiles and conventional weapons.

The panel said, between 2016 and 2018, in vain they asked the Sudanese foreign ministry to clarify and provide documentation to substantiate its statements about the cut of military cooperation with North Korea.

"A Member State indicated that since February 2017, cooperation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has continued, noting that “NPN Electronics Company” sent technicians to Sudan in September 2016 and that two KOMID operatives deported from Egypt in April 2016, Kim Song Chol and Son Jong Hyok, are the centre of the new connection between Sudan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea," reads the report.

In addition, the report provides that another country informed the Panel in November 2017 that “KOMID continues to engage with the Sudanese State-controlled Military Industrial Corporation (MIC)”.

The expert also said they are investigating a number of air and sea shipments from South Korea to Sudan related to KOMID.

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

(ST)