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Uganda defense official says N. Korea may take serious action under sanctions

All News 17:33 September 08, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 8 (Yonhap) -- A senior Ugandan defense official said Thursday that North Korea may take serious action if international sanctions cause the reclusive country to become desperate.

Rosette Byengoma, permanent secretary of the Ugandan defense ministry, is in Seoul for the Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD), organized by South Korea’s defense ministry. She made the observation during a session focused on North Korea’s denuclearization and international coordination, and thinks the international community should choose to impose tough penalties only after making other efforts.

The official said that handling the North Korean issue peacefully is the most appropriate way, adding it is still not too late to resolve the problem.

Byengoma's remarks drew attention as they are a bit different from the Seoul government's policy which places top priority on imposing airtight sanctions on the country for its nuclear and missile provocations.

At the SDD which runs till Friday, participants exchanged views on the North's evolving nuclear and missile threats and joint efforts to counter such security challenges.

Uganda previously proclaimed it would suspend military cooperation and exchanges with North Korea in May during a summit between Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

The African country has dispatched a three-member delegation to the Seoul forum.

In June, North Korea confirmed that it pulled a small force from Uganda as its contract to be stationed there expired. Pyongyang claimed this had nothing to do with U.S. pressure on Uganda to terminate relations with North Korea.

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