DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) – Burkina Faso plans to resume diplomatic relations with North Korea, the country’s Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday.
The decision will allow the two countries “to maintain exemplary bilateral cooperation in several areas,” Foreign Affairs Minister Olivia Rouamba said at the end of a Council of Ministers meeting.
The West African nation suspended relations with North Korea in 2017 to conform to UN Security Council sanctions over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
Rouamba said the governments of Burkina Faso and North Korea will reportedly be focusing on military equipment, mining, healthcare, agriculture and research.
The Burkinabe government has also approved the appointment of a North Korean ambassador to Burkina Faso.
Chae Hui Chol, has been approved as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to Burkina Faso, with residence in Dakar, Senegal, according to a statement from the Ministerial Council.
In the past, Burkina Faso has maintained “very good relations with this country, which was a privileged partner during the period of the August 1983 Revolution,” said Rouamba.
The government officially cut off relations in 2017 using a provision recommended by the United Nations to all its member states in its sanctions resolution against Pyongyang.
Faced with a security crisis, Burkina Faso, under the leadership of Capt. Ibrahim Traore, decided to diversify its partnerships to strengthen the fight against terrorism. In January, the transitional authorities broke a military agreement with France, its former colonist.
This is “a way of asserting its authority by contracting diplomatic relations with countries unconsidered by France,” Regis Hounkpe, a pan-African expert in geostrategy, told Anadolu.
The fight against terrorism and the need to face it by its own means or military cooperation is only an additional element of the distancing from France, he said.