Top N.Korean leader in Uganda to boost security ties

Wednesday October 29 2014

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni receives

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni receives North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam on March 27, 2008. Yong-nam is to visit Uganda on Wednesday with the aim of sealing deals to strengthen security ties Kampala's presidency said. PHOTO | FILE | REUTERS 

By AFP

North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, was to visit Uganda on Wednesday with the aim of sealing deals to strengthen security ties, the presidency in Kampala said.

"We are receiving a high-level delegation from North Korea," Tamale Mirundi, spokesman for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said. "The president and Kim Yong Nam will be holding talks to strengthen further bilateral relations."

He added that North Korea had already started training Ugandan police in martial arts, and was "training our marine units" and was also "engaged in the health sector".

Uganda has previously dismissed criticism of security deals and military training with North Korea. It denies any purchase of arms and says it has bought only "non-lethal equipment" from the Asian state to disperse protestors.

In April, Ugandan officials said the United Nations would be free to investigate any of its dealings with Pyongyang. Kim last visited Uganda in 2008, as part of an Africa tour including Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia. North Korean officers have also trained Ugandan tank crews and special forces, Museveni said earlier this year.

Ugandan troops are fighting in Somalia against Al-Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab insurgents, as part of a UN-backed African Union force.

They are also fighting in neighbouring South Sudan, backing government forces against rebel troops, as well leading AU efforts to hunt down Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) rebels in the Central African Republic.