(PresidentialWire.com)- Guinea has announced that North Korea will send more than two dozen “technicians” to the West African country to work in the agriculture sector. This demonstrates the country’s efforts to strengthen bilateral ties in the face of international sanctions that prohibit DPRK citizens from working in other countries.
A snapshot of a meeting between the North Korean Ambassador to Guinea Ri Chong Gyong and Guinean Agriculture Minister Mamoudou Nagnalen Barry was posted on social media by the country’s agriculture ministry earlier this month revealing the agreement. It was said in the article that the DPRK had agreed to deploy “30 North Korean technicians” to Guinea for an undisclosed period.
North Korea has inked several agreements for collaboration with African nations in recent years, including a health cooperation pact with Guinea signed just a few weeks ago. However, given the wide range of prohibited activities under United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), it is rare for states to announce the terms of these agreements officially.
Due to worries that payment may end up in the hands of the Kim Jong Un dictatorship and be used to support the regime’s weapons programs, the United Nations Security Council has prohibited member nations from employing North Korean laborers since December 2019.
It is unclear whether the agreement agreed by Guinea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea covers sanctioned activities. NK News reached out to Guinea’s agriculture ministry for clarification but did not receive a response immediately.
Agricultural Research Facility Kim Il Sung Kilissi, created in 1982 and named after the former North Korean leader, is home to other North Koreans who are presently working in Guinea at an agricultural research center. According to the Agriculture Ministry, the institute has created 30 kinds of rice, 20 types of corn, and 15 varieties of peanuts.
As the ministry points out, the research center is beset by several challenges, including a lack of infrastructure, a lack of personnel, and a lack of means of transportation.
It seems improbable that the 30 North Korean technicians, who are presumably required to assist in improving the situation, will arrive directly from the DPRK, given the nation has nearly totally closed its borders to travel since January 2020 in response to COVID-19.
Consequently, many North Koreans are stuck overseas and may seek to find employment to support themselves and their families.
Historically, North Korea has had a close relationship with African countries, which can be traced to Kim Il Sung’s backing of African liberation movements. In 2021,
Tycho van der Hoog, a scholar at Leiden University’s African Studies Centre, told NK News that this support created goodwill for North Korea that continues to this day.