Although the United Nations-of which Namibia is a member-has voted to impose broad-based sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea earlier this month, the Namibian government is sticking by its “old friend”. President Hage Geingob earlier this week blatantly shot down calls for Namibia to cut its ties with the under-fire state of North Korea saying the two come a long way. The United Nations Security Council voted to impose a broad array of sanctions against North Korea because of that nation’s recent nuclear test and missile launch, both of which defied current international sanctions.
The resolution aims to cripple parts of the North Korean economy that fuel its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. For example, member nations have agreed to inspect all planes and ships carrying The Swapo Party which is in control of Government, often castigate party members who go against collective party decisions, yet in this case the Swapo-led government is going against a collective decision of the UN.
Geingob said Namibia and North Korea’s dealings were cemented before the sanctions were imposed on the Asian nation, therefore Namibia is not binded by the new developments. President of the Official Opposition McHenry Venaani was not impressed by Geingob’s response to his questions as to why Namibia is involved with North Korea despite the UN shunning it.
“It should not be in our intent to be so close to North Korea,” said Venaani who described North Korea as a “controversial friend”.
Venaani was not impressed with Namibia’s ties with North Korea, saying: “Show me your friends and I will show you who you are.”
“Our relationship with North Korea can influence relationships with our future trading partners. It is always important to check howcontroversial your friend are and based on that decide how to engage them,” said Venaani when he delivered his ‘Real State of the Nation Address’ a day after Geingob’s State of the Nation Address.
“They(North Korea) can be our solidarity friends, but our real friends must be those with which we can maximize trade,” he advised.
The President defended the country’s foreign policy, and said Namibia is friends to everybody and enemies to none.
“Namibia is a child of international solidarity midwifed by the UN,” said Geingob.
Government complied with UN requirements when it had to ask Korean representatives in Namibia to leave, he said.