North Korea has closed its embassy in Kampala, Uganda, ending a half-century diplomatic presence in one of its most steadfast African allies.
The decision was made following a meeting between Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and North Korean Ambassador Jong Tong Hak this week.
“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,” statement quoted by AFP.
Ambassador Hak also stressed that diplomatic relations would now be handled by the embassy in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.
“Our good friendship will continue and will be further strengthened and developed,” he said.
According to the statement, Hak praised Museveni for “consistently supporting the Korean government in enforcing its peaceful efforts to realize a harmonious unification of the Korean Peninsula.”
North Korea established ties with Uganda early after its independence from Britain in 1962, and it backed Idi Amin’s coup in 1971, giving his forces with training and weaponry.
It opened the embassy in Kampala a year later, as the international community shunned Amin’s repressive regime, which lasted until 1979.