US demands Egypt sever ties with North Korea or face further punitive action

12 Oct 2017

US President Donald Trump's administration has demanded that Egypt cut all ties with North Korea or face further punitive action, diplomatic sources have said.

US diplomatic sources in Cairo told The New Arab on Wednesday that Washington has warned Cairo over its military relations with the pariah Asian state.

'The Trump administration has urgently demanded that Egypt close military attache offices and all related activity in both Cairo and Pyongyang,' a source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.

'Egypt's delay in ending relations has angered the US intelligence services,' the source said, adding that Washington could take further action against Cairo if it fails to adhere to the demands.

'The sanctions could go beyond freezing military and economic aid and touch other matters,' the source warned.

US authorities froze or delayed about $300 million in military aid to Egypt this year over Cairo's poor human rights record and dealings with North Korea.

Last week, the Egyptian government denied that a shipment of weapons from North Korea was destined for its military, as reported in US media.

The US newspaper reported that the Egyptian military was the undisclosed buyer of $23 million worth of rocket-propelled grenades from North Korea in 2016.

The arms deal between Cairo and Pyongyang took place despite relations between the US and North Korea hitting an exceptional low point.

Provocative North Korean posturing and a ratcheting up of rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang has seen even North Korea's Asian ally China take a tougher line against Kim Jung Un's regime.

Egypt has for decades maintained close ties with North Korea, with the secretive nation selling weapons to Egypt and upgrading its arsenal of medium-range, ground-to-ground missiles.

A 2015 UN report said North Korean front companies and shipping agents engaged in weapons smuggling have called on Egypt's Mediterranean city of Port Said, which also sits on the northern end of the Suez Canal.

alaraby

Contact US | Powered by CNPHUB.com - All Rights Reserved