October 4, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan severed diplomatic relations with North Korea to satisfy U.S. additional benchmarks for the lift of economic sanctions, revealed the Financial Times on Wednesday.
Last July, President Donald Trump delayed his decision on the permanent revocation of the economic embargo on Sudan pointing to the need to improve human rights record, religious freedoms and requested commitments to the international sanctions on North Korea which tops Washington diplomatic priorities.
North Korea’s addition to the five-track framework agreement comes as result of reports disclosed in September 2011 that Khartoum had conducted secret talks with Pyongyang to purchase medium-range ballistic missiles, short-range missiles, and anti-tank missiles, according to a U.S. diplomatic note leaked by Wikileaks.
“There were concerns over the North Koreans but now the administration is quite convinced that we don’t have any relations with North Korea whatsoever,” said Sudanese Foreign Minister in statements to the Financial Times.
To clear these concerns, a U.S. official told the London based economic newspaper that Khartoum handed over to Washington a copy of a letter sent to Pyongyang in which it formally severed diplomatic relations with North Korea.
Also, Khartoum “passed on information about bank accounts held by North Korean fronts, including names and amounts, according to a person briefed on the letter,” the official added.
Furthermore “The Sudanese have been pulling out the stops and they were very co-operative,” the source asserted.
As a result of this fruitful cooperation, officials expected that President Trump would take a positive decision on the cancellation of sanctions on 12 October, despite calls by human rights activists to maintain it.
The initial five-track engagement between Khartoum and Washington reached in December 2016, includes the cessation of hostilities in the conflict areas, the humanitarian access to civilians in the war zones, cooperation to address regional conflicts and the support of US counterterrorism efforts.
Recently, the U.S. administration removed Sudanese national from a travel ban list. Also despite raising concerns over the human rights and religious freedom in Sudan; the U.S. Department of Homeland Security ended on 19 September temporary protected status for citizens of Sudan as of 2018.