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Tanzanian military delegation tours S. Korea's 2nd Fleet

All News 19:44 June 10, 2016

SEOUL/PYEONGTAEK, June 10 (Yonhap) -- A visiting military delegation from Tanzania, a long-time military partner of North Korea, toured the Navy's 2nd Fleet's headquarters Friday where they were briefed on the sinking of a South Korean warship that played a role in heightening inter-Korean tensions.

The 17-men delegation led by Tanzania National Defense College chief Maj. Gen. Yacoub Hassan Mohamed arrived in South Korea on Tuesday. The trip is aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation with South Korea's National Defense University.

The delegation toured a security park at the naval base in Pyeongtaek, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, where they examined the torn hull of the Cheonan, military officials said.

In March 2010, a North Korean torpedo struck the corvette near the de facto maritime border south of the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 South Korean sailors on board. North Korea, however, has denied all responsibility for the sinking.

Besides Tanzanian military personnel, the delegation also includes government employees and officers dispatched to the Tanzanian college from Kenya, Brundi and Botswana. All these countries maintain ties with Pyongynag.

Following the briefing, the Tanzanian general expressed words of compliment to the South Korean Navy for "carrying out missions amid inter-Korean confrontation."

On Tuesday, the delegation also signed a memorandum of understanding with South Korea's National Defense University on expanding their exchange and cooperation program and visited the Ministry of National Defense.

The visit is part of South Korea's growing efforts to win over North Korea's close African partners following the communist country's defiant nuclear and long-range missile tests earlier this year.

Tanzania is known to have engaged in a jet fighter modernization program with the North and has traditionally maintained good relations with the reclusive country.

In late May, Uganda, another African country with close ties with Pyongyang, pledged to cut off its security and military cooperation with North Korea.

Officials said, an intelligence official from Uganda's military will be visiting Seoul for the joint military intelligence sharing meeting planned with South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff on June 16.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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