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(LEAD) Uganda halts military exchange with N. Korea

All News 12:16 June 09, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with Ugandan officials' visits, S. Korean official's remarks in last 3 paras; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- Uganda has told North Korea that it won't renew its military contracts with the communist nation, a government source said Thursday, carrying out its pledge to sever their military ties.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni made the pledge during a summit meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye last month in what was seen as a diplomatic victory for Seoul.

South Korea hopes that deepening the North's isolation from the international community will force the regime in Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

"The two countries' contracts on security, military and police cooperation expire at the end of this month," the source said on the condition of anonymity. "My understanding is that the Ugandan government has informed the North that it doesn't plan to renew them."

North Korea and Uganda have had active military exchanges since they signed a military cooperation agreement in 1987, shortly after Museveni took power.

Some 50 to 60 North Korean military and police officials are currently known to be working as advisers in the African country.

Sources said the South Korean government plans to dispatch its own advisers to Uganda to fill the gap left by the North Koreans.

Meanwhile, a Ugandan military intelligence official will visit Seoul next Thursday to attend a meeting on the sharing of information, a South Korean official said. Later in the month, a separate delegation of officials from the Ugandan state arms procurement agency will visit the country to discuss cooperation in the defense industry.

The South Korean official said the series of visits are a follow-up measure to the memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation that was signed between the two sides during Park's visit to Uganda last month.

"We plan to expand exchanges and cooperation in various sectors," he said.

hague@yna.co.kr
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