Nandi-Ndaitwah sets record straight on North Korea

24 Oct 2017 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 24 OCT (NAMPA) – Deputy Prime Minister, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has assured the public that Namibia has ceased all relations with North Korea, in conformity with the United Nations (UN) sanctions on the Asian nation.
Nandi-Ndaitwah, who is also the minister of International Relations and Cooperation, made the remarks in a media statement on Tuesday in reaction to a widely circulated Cable News Network (CNN) news clip on the matter.
The video clip highlights Namibia’s alleged connection with North Korea, especially in the construction industry where the country benefited from North Korean constructors for most of its top priority projects.
Projects highlighted by the report, in which North Korean giant Mansudae Overseas Projects was involved, include State House in Auasblick; work on the Independence Museum in the town centre and the Heroes’ Acre outside Windhoek.
Following the circulation of the video clip, in which the deputy prime minister was also interviewed, speculations have been rife that Namibia could face sanctions from the UN for its links with the country.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said in the media statement that Namibia has drastically cut its links with North Korea, as witnessed by the halting of projects and work in which the Koreans were involved in, and their eventual departure from the country.
She said this will be the status quo for as long as the UN sanctions against North Korea are in place.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said Namibia has been submitting regular reports to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea as required, with the last report being on 08 April 2017.
The deputy prime minister said the assertion in the CNN news clip that such reports have been outstanding for more than a year, was therefore false.
“The Government of the Republic of Namibia is committed to comply with all relevant UN resolutions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and has, therefore, invited the panel of experts to visit Namibia to assess its compliance with the UN Security Council sanctions, resolutions on the DPRK,” she said.
Nandi-Ndaitwah said the committee acknowledged Namibia’s invitation, but could not make the trip as their calendar could not allow them to visit Namibia. The invitation still stands, she said.
The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a US-drafted resolution to impose new sanctions on North Korea at the beginning of September this year, merely a week after the Asian nation carried out its sixth and largest nuclear test.
The resolution, according to media reports, is designed to accomplish six major goals: cap North Korea's oil imports, ban textile exports, end additional overseas labourer contracts, suppress smuggling efforts, stop joint ventures with other nations, and sanction designated North Korean government entities.