Published on 01 December 2016

Pyongyang, an alternative to the West?

North Korea in East Africa

On Sept. 9 North Korea conducted a new nuclear test in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Few African states spoke out to condemn Pyongyang. And with good reason: Kim Jong-un is engaged in a number of military and economic partnerships with several of them.

If some African countries, like Sudan, are keeping their distance from North Korea, business between it and the continent continues to grow, to the tune of an annual $216 million.

Aside from the commercial benefits of such trade, Pyongyang also draws even more significant political capital from it. The Communist regime is in search of allies to break its diplomatic isolation, just as some African states are keen to mitigate pressure from the West.

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