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PRESS RELEASE

Monday, 30th May 2016
Amb. James Mugume, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform the general public and members of the international community that contrary to media reports attributed to Foreign Affairs Minister Hon. Sam Kutesa, Uganda has not severed Diplomatic Relations with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The Ministry would like to underscore Uganda's supports and commitment to the three pillars of Nuclear Non-Proliferation which are non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear technology that are the cornerstone of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). We have, however, consistently argued that a selective approach to the implementation of the Treaty's provisions weakens the nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation regime, reinforces inequalities under the Treaty and undermines its credibility. We have also continuously argued for the right of non-nuclear states like ours to peaceful use of nuclear technology for development purposes.

Against this background and following several sensational media reports, we would like to make the following clarification:

1.  On 2nd March 2016 the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2276 which imposed stronger sanctions on the DPRK for its nuclear test and ballistic missile launch. Under chapter VII and also article 25 of the UN Charter all UN Member States are under obligation to comply with the decisions of the Security Council. In Uganda's case we were obliged to suspend military and police cooperation activities with the DPRK Government and submit a report to the UN Security Council detailing action taken.

2.  Media interview remarks by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Sam Kutesa were taken grossly out of context given that he was responding to a question on whether, in light of UNSC resolution 2276, the Government of Uganda would continue working with the DPRK which has been offering military and police training to Uganda. His detailed response was reduced to a sound-bite which was clearly understood by those in the diplomatic community but unfortunately not by our local media fraternity.

3.  By way of further clarification, the disengagement of defence and police cooperation does not imply that Uganda has severed relations with the DPRK. We have bilateral cooperation framework agreements with several countries which are revised, adjusted and cancelled regularly. These changes do not and should not be seen as severance of diplomatic relations. Severing of diplomatic relations is usually an act preceding a war between two states and is considered an act of hostility. It is characterized by expulsion of Diplomats and closure of Diplomatic premises. Uganda has not transmitted any such communication to Pyongyang or to the DPRK Embassy in Kampala.

Amb. James M. Mugume
PERMANENT SECRETARY
30th May 2016

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