North Korea closes embassy in Uganda

I met the outgoing  Ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mr. Jong Tong Hak, who paid me a courtesy call at State House, Entebbe.

President Museveni met the outgoing Ambassador of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mr. Jong Tong Hak, who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Entebbe.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is set to close its embassy in Uganda, ambassador Jong Tong Hak has revealed.

In a courtesy call to President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at State House Entebbe, Hak informed him that North Korea has taken a strategic measure to reduce the number of embassies in Africa, Uganda inclusive in order to increase the efficiency of the country’s external institutions.

He assured Museveni that the bilateral relations between Uganda and North Korea will continue despite the changes.

“Our connections will be continued through Malabo- Equatorial Guinea. Our ambassador will soon present his credentials to you. Our physical absence cannot block our hearts, minds, and souls. Our good friendship will continue and will be further strengthened and developed. I convey this commitment from my government. I have lived in Kampala for many years. I love Uganda and its people,” Hak said.

He also applauded Museveni for consistently supporting the Korean government in enforcing its peaceful efforts to realize a harmonious unification of the Korean Peninsula. “Although the Korean Peninsula situation is still intense, our government is trying to stabilize the situation. That is why it continues to build up its strength to protect its territory and people. My government still vividly remembers your famous speech at the UN General Assembly in 2017 which you made before the world as you expressed your gratitude to our government, such a speech made us happy, and we are grateful,” Hak said.

For his part, Museveni lauded Hak for the job well done during his service in Uganda. Hak has been in Uganda since 2009 first as the deputy ambassador and later as full Ambassador.

Last week, the Norwegian government announced that it will close its embassy in Uganda come 2024.

The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt, said the move is part of the government’s ongoing assessment of its foreign service to best safeguard its development policy priorities in line with available resources.

According to the government, the missions will be closed in 2024 while the diplomat positions from these two missions will be redirected to other Norwegian diplomatic and consular missions.

“In a rapidly changing world, it is essential for us to have diplomats in the places where they can monitor global issues that have implications for Norway and promote Norwegian positions. At the same time, we must continually assess where it is best to maintain a presence in order to safeguard Norwegian interests optimally with the resources we have,” said Minister Huitfeldt is quoted as saying in a statement on the official government website.

The government says as part of the changes, Norway will have fewer, but more robust Foreign Service missions while more diplomatic staff will be posted to the Norwegian Embassies in Accra, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Kinshasa and Nairobi “in order to strengthen efforts in priority areas such as food security, business development and regional security in Africa.”

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