Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim to undertake an Official Visit to North Korea

04 November 2013

The Deputy Minister of International Relation and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim Ebrahim will undertake an official visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) scheduled for 05 – 07 November 2013.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim’s visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is aimed at strengthening bilateral relations that exist between the two countries. Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea were established in August 1998.

This is a long standing visit since a visit by former Deputy Minister, Mr Aziz Pahad who visited Pyongyang in 2005. The two countries enjoy a cordial relation that dates back due to the historic support which the DPRK provided during the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

However, economic relations between the two countries remains limited due to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) imposed sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a result of DPRK’s nuclear programme which plays out on the ongoing Korean Peninsula tension.

In this regard, South Africa holds very strong views on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, which it conveys to the DPRK on all occasions by indicating that the strength of a country is in its economy, not in its military as one can win war but lose peace.

South Africa has been urging North Korea not to go ahead with building of nuclear programme. Equally so, South Africa respects the rights of all Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) member states to legitimately develop nuclear energy for peaceful civilian purposes. However, South Africa believes that a nuclear arsenal does not confer greater security for any state.

During the visit, Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim will further encourage North Korea to open up to South Korea and also goes back to the Six-Party Peace Talks, aimed at ending North Korea’s Nuclear program through negotiations.

For further information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 8845974.

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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