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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Egypt to cooperate with South Korea on DPRK, to open defense attaché office in Seoul

Are you keeping an eye on this, Mr. Tillerson? Egypt took a major step yesterday toward breaking ties with North Korea when the Egyptian and South Korean defense ministers signed an agreement yesterday to “deepen the partnership between their countries on North Korea and arms development,” according to Yonhap News Agency. “Egyptian Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi stressed that his country has already severed all military ties with North Korea,” according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry. Sobhy also reportedly said that “Egypt will actively cooperate with South Korea against North Korean acts that threaten peace and stability in the international community.” Egypt also plans to open a defense attaché office in Seoul next month, Yonhap adds. Egypt’s ties to North Korea are believed to be one of the main factors behind a series of aid cuts by the US over the past month.

Egypt’s North Korea snub comes as the United Nations Security Council approved the sternest wave sanctions yet against North Korea on Monday, the Washington Post reports, after the US toned down its demands to get the Russians and Chinese onside. Some 90% of North Korean exports are sanctioned, the nation’s key textile exports are banned, and its access to oil has been curbed.

In other US-related news: Centcom chief meets El Sisi: US Central Command boss Gen. Joseph Votel, who is here for the resurrected Bright Star war games, met yesterday with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and separately with Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Mahmoud Hegazy, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Apart from discussing the drills, talks covered regional security and areas of coordination when it comes to combating terrorism and shared security.

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