Sudan says it has cut all defence ties with North Korea

KHARTOUM – Sudan said on Wednesday it had cut all defence ties with North Korea, in a rare admission that it used to have such ties in the first place.

This announcement came after Washington is locked in a standoff over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear weapons programmes, Sudan is still on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism and is suffering from an economic crisis.

The foreign ministry confirmed in a statement, “Sudan’s government would like to affirm that its defence production sector has cancelled all contracts … with North Korea, and ended all relations, direct or through a third party.”

The statement added that the decision was made as part of its commitment to the international Non-Proliferation Treaty and sanctions against Pyongyang.

However they did not shed light on when ties had been stopped or provide details of what the contracts entailed.

In October the United States lifted 20 years of sanctions on Sudan, a move that hoped to help Sudan’s ailing economy, but the country has since plunged into a further crisis, including a fiscal crisis, with the Sudanese pound’s value plummeting and no significant increase in foreign investment.

Washington has said that Sudan had made progress in fighting terrorism, and that it had secured Khartoum’s commitment not to pursue arms deals with North Korea.

Even with this step forward Sudan remains on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, with Syria and Iran – which means a ban on weapons sales and restrictions on U.S. aid.

Earlier this year Sudan experienced wide spread protests because of the ailing economy.

Photo credit- Nikkei Asian Review

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