North Korea constructed a munitions factory in Namibia

The Namibian government confirmed the factory was built by North Korean engineers.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   March 16, 2016 at 1:20 PM
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SEOUL, March 16 (UPI) -- North Korea constructed a munitions plant in Namibia, but the country's government insists the project is not in violation of past United Nations Security Council sanctions.

Namibia's Deputy Prime Minister and International Relations Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah confirmed that Pyongyang's engineers were permitted to build the factory but the deal did not break international law, Voice of America reported.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said the Namibian government is not at fault, and that it would cooperate with the U.N. if it were asked to provide data regarding the issue.

The government official added the North Koreans did build the factory, but the Namibian government initiated the project, and the ammunition manufactured on site is not for North Korean use.

The factory was built before the Security Council passed North Korea sanctions, and no North Korea joint projects have been launched since, Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

But a report issued by a panel of experts of the Security Council sanctions committee has stated the construction of the military factory is in violation of international law.

The Security Council has passed North Korea sanctions since 2004, and passed its first sanctions resolution in 1993.

Between 2002 and 2005, North Korea's Mansudae Overseas Project group of companies, was involved in the factory's construction, Yonhap reported.

Mansudae has also been involved in the construction of Namibia's defense ministry building and a military school, according to South Korea press. The North Korean firms also have connections to Korea Mining Development Trading Corp., or KOMID, which has been tied to arms exports and has been under U.N. sanctions since 2009.

Namibia established diplomatic relations with both North and South Korea in March 1990, according to Yonhap.

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