North Korea is ending a 50-year diplomatic presence in Uganda, one of its longest-standing African allies.
In a statement Wednesday, North Korea said it was reducing the number of embassies in Africa to increase its efficiency on external institutions.
The statement came after a meeting between Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and North Korean Ambassador Jong Tong Hak.
“Ambassador Jong informed the president that North Korea has taken a strategic measure to reduce the number of embassies in Africa, Uganda inclusive, in order to increase efficiency of the country’s external institutions,” said a Ugandan presidency statement shared with AFP on Tuesday.
“Our good friendship will continue and will be further strengthened and developed,” Jong was quoted as saying, adding that diplomatic links would now be handled through its embassy in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
Jong hailed Museveni “for consistently supporting the Korean government in enforcing its peaceful efforts to realise a harmonious unification of the Korean Peninsula”, the statement added.
According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Uganda’s exports to North Korea was US$254,980 in 2020.
Coffee, tea, mate, spices and cut flowers constitute among the largest export goods to the Asian country.
In contrast, Uganda’s imports from North Korea was valued at US$4.39 million during 2020.
Aluminum and miscellaneous chemical products account for some of the goods North Korea ships into Uganda.