Namibia, Korea Sign Agreements

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By Petronella Sibeene

WINDHOEK

Namibia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have signed two agreements, one on diplomatic consultation between foreign affairs ministers and another in the field of public health.

President Hifikepunye Pohamba and DPRK President of the Presidium, Kim Yong Nam, witnessed the signing ceremony at State House after official talks on Thursday afternoon.

Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, and his counterpart Choe Chang Sik signed the public health and traditional medicine agreement, while Foreign Affairs Minister, Marco Hausiku, and his Korean counterpart, Pak Ui Chun, signed the diplomatic consultation memorandum of understanding (MoU).

The health agreement will enable the two countries to exchange medical expertise and share information on issues related to medical care, science and technology.

The diplomatic consultation agreement will facilitate regular exchange of views on bilateral and multilateral matters of common interest.

The basis of the two agreements is rooted in the 1993 Agreement on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation signed between the two parties. The framework allows Namibia and DPRK to expand their areas of interest and achieve common goals for the mutual benefit of both countries.

During the official talks, Pohamba specified that Namibia was open for cooperation in the areas of trade and commerce, transport and communication, defence, health, education, environmental issues, agriculture and energy.

Pohamba applauded DPRK’s commitment towards the re-unification of the Korean Peninsula.

“We were especially encouraged by the declaration calling for peace and joint prosperity following the Six Party Talks Summit held in Pyongyang in 2007,” said the Namibian Head of State.

The successful implementation of this declaration, Pohamba added, will greatly contribute to the social and economic development, internal peace and security not only on the Korean Peninsula but also beyond.

Pohamba also called for the reform and democratisation of the United Nations Security Council, adding that such a move will truly enable the body to serve humanity and adequately reflect the composition of the changing world.

“It will enable other regions of the world to have their voices heard in all organs of the UN system,” he stressed.

During the talks Nam acknowledged Namibia’s development in spheres of stability and economic growth.

He applauded the country for setting up a target for economic independence – Vision 2030. Nam regarded the friendship that exists between the two countries as a treasure brought about by Founding President Sam Nujoma and President of Korea, Kim Jong IL.

“In the 1960s, President IL assisted Namibia in the liberation struggle by providing material support,” he said.

With the long history and strong traditions shared by the two countries, Nam proposed that the two countries expand their economic and cultural cooperation.

He added that the two parties should, in the near future, consider signing an agreement in protection of investment.

This comes in the light of the scramble for power and influence on underdeveloped countries by economic giants. The Korean leader also extended an invitation to Pohamba to visit Korea.

Apart from the official talks with President Pohamba, the Korean leader witnessed the inauguration of the new State House that coincided with Namibia’s 18th independence anniversary on Friday.

He paid a courtesy call on Founding President, Dr Sam Nujoma, on Saturday morning before laying wreaths at Heroes Acre.

Nam who arrived on Thursday on a four-day visit concluded his visit on Sunday.

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