USA warns of the worst if Uganda doesn’t cut ties with North Korea

The US is concerned about Ugandan government’s continued involvement with North Korea. A senior US official has been in Kampala to raise these matters with the Government. In 2017 a story was published that Uganda was under immense pressure from the US and European Union (EU) to cut ties with North Korea.

The US and EU want Uganda to terminate existing contracts with North Korea citizens in the country, especially those working in the military and security sectors where North Korean commandos have over time trained Police and military officers. The other sectors, which envoys want North Koreans to vacate are education and health.

On Monday, the deputy assistant secretary for non-proliferation programmes in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation in the US-State department, Phillip Dolliff, met top government officials for a two-day workshop on Monday and Tuesday at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel. Dolliff’s office focuses on preventing illicit financial flows and enforcing sanctions.

For Uganda, the issues include the government’s enforcement of sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), illicit financial flows from South Sudan and the enforcement of its anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism law.

Phillip Dolliff, the deputy assistant secretary for non-proliferation programmes in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation in the US-State department

In an interview with a local News Paper, Dolliff said he was in the country to discuss strategic trade control, sanctions implementation and preventing the financing corporation with the Uganda’s private sector representatives.

“I am also meeting with members of your government who have the responsibility for these areas. The ministries I am meeting with are defence and foreign affairs, among others, including the Uganda Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA),” he said.

Dolliff explained:

“I am using the meetings to reinforce these messages at a senior level. We know that effective counter proliferation measures, especially in finance, require regular two-way communication between the Government authorities and financial institutions.”

“We are continuing with the dialogue, where our embassy (in Kampala) meets with your government regularly on the issues. However, since the issues were of special importance, I was asked to highlight their importance to the government of Uganda,” he said

Uganda has an obligation under the international law to comply with UN Security Council resolutions. If you are seen to be stubborn and non-complaint, the US would have to consider that and think about their relationship with any country not just Uganda.

Another country in Africa, which he didn’t specify, that USA cut its assistance substantially because they were far too stubborn and noncompliant.

“We are looking at other countries around the world to make sure that they are are co-operative and helpful. I think, it is also the case that Uganda’s standing in the international community would be negatively affected if Uganda continues to be stubborn in this regard. Countries that are non-complaint will have a worst reputation.”