KAMPALA— Uganda has expelled North Korean military experts and representatives of North Korean companies, including its top arms dealer, as African nations face growing pressure to comply with U.N. sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Any North Koreans still in the East African nation are diplomats or private individuals, Okello Oryem, a deputy minister of foreign affairs, told The Associated Press.
“We are in full compliance,” Oryem said, adding that Uganda maintains normal diplomatic ties with North Korea.
Uganda specifically demanded the exit of individuals representing the Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation. It is North Korea’s primary arms dealer and is under U.N. and U.S. sanctions.
The expulsion marks a policy shift for Uganda’s government, which previously had warm relations with Pyongyang.
North Korea for years trained the Ugandan security forces in physical fitness, maritime warfare and weapons handling.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986, previously praised Pyongyang as an exemplar of the fight against what he described as Western imperialism. In 2014, Museveni hosted a state dinner in honor of North Korea’s ceremonial leader, Kim Yong Nam, and said the North Koreans are “friends who have helped Uganda for a long time.”