North Korean foreign affairs minister visits Namibia

27 Jun 2015 17:20pm
WINDHOEK, 27 JUN (NAMPA) – The visiting North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ri Su-yong on Friday paid a courtesy call on President Hage Geingob at State House.
In his welcoming remarks before their closed-door meeting, Geingob narrated the relationship between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, and Namibia as historic.
“Struggle-wise, you were supporting us in our war for liberation,” he said, adding that he and other Swapo Party leaders, who were in Lusaka, Zambia at that time, used to go to the Korean Embassy almost every Friday where they were entertained with lectures and films that inspired them.
Geingob said that after Namibia's independence in 1990, diplomatic relations between the two countries was established at a high level.
“We engaged with our Korean friends to build this beautiful building (State House). We also engaged with them to build Heroes’ Acre and the Independence Museum,” he said.
On the front of Namibia and North Korea’s current diplomatic relations, Geingob said: “Yes, there are now new developments in the international market, developments that are under the (United Nations) Security Council resolutions and we are paying attention to that and it does not affect our bilateral relationship”.
On his part, the visiting foreign minister relayed his president, Kim Jong-un’s, congratulation to Geingob for assuming the country's top position and wished him good health.
He pointed out that after Namibia’s independence, the two countries’ leaders at the time, Sam Nujoma and Kim Jong-il, met frequently and discussed a lot of issues concerning development and bilateral relations.
Ri and his delegation arrived in the country on Thursday and held discussions with Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and also met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.
The delegation is expected to return home on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) Secretariat, Paulina Elago also paid a courtesy call on Geingob to brief him on the activities and developments of the organisation.
The Head of State congratulated Elago, a Namibian national, on her leadership, saying that she, being a woman, makes Namibia and its people proud.
Elago was appointed in April 2014. She is the former chief trade negotiator for Namibia, and played a key role in the renegotiation of the 1969 SACU Agreement to the SACU Agreement of 2002. Prior to her appointment at SACU, Elago served as the Country Director for Trade Mark East Africa in Tanzania.
SACU is very important to Namibia for the role it plays in regional integration within southern Africa, the greater Africa as well as the global arena.
Elago’s experience spans over 20 years in the areas of trade and regional integration.
Namibia holds the current chairmanship of the SACU Council of Ministers since March this year through Minister of Finance, Calle Schlettwein.