Is It All Over Between Namibia and North Korea?

By Max Weylandt

After Namibia was accused of violating UN sanctions on North Korea, it seemed to cut links with its old partner. But not completely.

For several years now, the sight of North Korean construction labourers working in Namibia's capital, Windhoek, has been a common one. This is no surprise given that over the last few decades, Mansudae, a North Korean company that does business across Africa, has built some of the country's most prominent government projects. Amongst many others, these have included Windhoek's massive new state house and towering independence museum.

However, as normal as their presence has become, allegations have emerged suggesting these North Korean workers should never have been in Namibia in the first place. In February, a Panel of Experts convened by the UN suggested that Namibia's dealings with Mansudae violated UN sanctions on North Korea.