“The relationship between Uganda and North Korea is more than an ordinary diplomatic relationship. It is a special friendship built over the years by the relationship between the Presidents of the two states” (Parliament.go.ug, 31.10.2014).
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) or North Korea have been dealing with the Government of Uganda for decades. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have been closely dealing with the North Korean counterparts. This has been done since the bush-war.
The North Koreans have both having businesses in Uganda, but also traded weapons to the Ugandan army. This have been older systems of ammunitions and weapons. Still, it has been an enterprise that have given the Pyongyang the needed foreign exchange and profits. While the Ugandans could get excessive weaponry to conflicts across their borders. It has been a win-win for both parties.
Which, when the Danish documentary series “the mole” exposed this. It has been known for ages. The UN has filed it in its reports for years. The knowledge of this trading and collaboration have been known. The DPRK and Uganda have been partners in crime. These low-cost parts and ammunition sold to Uganda have been good business for them both. Cheap imports and accessible to use in proxy wars.
There is knowledge and reports that contrary to UN Sanctions, the North Koreans has both manual workers and medical professionals working in Uganda. This is a way of earning money on the labour made by these citizens. Who are facilitated by state corporations working on projects and as part of state tenders in Uganda. Therefore, “the Mole” idea with building an arms factory in Uganda and using that as means for exporting illegal weapons. Wouldn’t be far-fetched because of the relationship between the states. It would be a win-win for both Republics and Presidents.
Just recently, Kim Jong-Un sent this message to Uganda on its independence day:
“Our people sincerely hope that under your leadership, the friendly people of Uganda will achieve great successes in their efforts for consolidating the national unity and attaining the socio-economic development of the country. I take this opportunity to express my conviction that the friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries would continuously strengthen and develop by inheriting their history and tradition.” (Mfa.gov.kp, 2020).
If that isn’t a message, than nothing is. It really says it all. As well, with the knowledge of how long they been trading. Using illegal means to profit of each other. As the one benefits from the other. Both parties knows that. The DPRK wouldn’t be involved and has this sort of deals, unless it earned on it. Neither, would the Ugandan have it either. Since, they are getting a bargain and getting things cheaply, but also weapons, which it can use for questionable enterprises elsewhere.
President Museveni have had this sort of relationship, because it has been beneficial to him and his allies. He wouldn’t have done this, if it wasn’t anything in it for him. Pyongyang and Kampala been friendly, because its good business. They are both getting what they need.
“The Mole” is maybe opening the eyes of a few new faces. However, many of us knew. Peace.
Parliament.go.ug – ‘Korea-Uganda Parliaments agree to sign friendship pact’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.parliament.go.ug/new/index.php/about-parliament/parliamentary-news/472-korea-uganda-parliaments-agree-to-sign-friendship-pact
Mfa.gov.kp – ‘Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un Sends Congratulatory Message to President of Uganda’ 09.10.2020 link: http://www.mfa.gov.kp/en/congratulatory-message-to-president-of-uganda/