U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tilllerson called on African nations on Friday to do more to isolate North Korea, which relies on trade and military relationships on the continent as a source of hard currency.
Speaking to African foreign ministers at the State Department, Mr. Tillerson said North Korea poses a threat to the world, not just Asia and the U.S. and that as such all countries have an obligation to reduce that threat.
“Let me stress that the United States seeks greater support from our African partners on growing global security matters, including North Korea,” he said.
Today, Secretary Tillerson is hosting the Ministerial on Trade, Security, and Governance in #Africa to expand and enrich the United States’ relationship with Africa along three fronts — promoting trade and investment; encouraging good governance; and countering terrorism. pic.twitter.com/BiK2PwOYh7
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) November 17, 2017
Mr. Tillerson said the U.S. appreciated African condemnations of North Korean missile launches and nuclear tests and compliance with U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang. But, he said they should go beyond by downgrading diplomatic ties, severing economic links, expelling North Korean workers and reducing any other presence North Korea might have in their countries.
He urged all of Africa to play a part in what he has termed a “peaceful pressure campaign” to convince North Korea that its security and respect from the international community can only come from entering a “meaningful dialogue about a different future.”
As North Korea has faced increasing isolation from western countries, it has increasingly sought relationships with in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia to raise badly needed finances. In Africa, it has cultivated military and economic ties with a number of countries — including Sudan, Uganda and Angola — that range from military training programs to construction and industrial projects and the supply of guest workers.