The Sunday Leader

North Koreans Refused Entry To Sri Lanka

The government last week refused to approve visas for four North Koreans to attend a seminar in Katunayake, organisers of the seminar said. The seminar held on Friday was organised by the Sri Lanka – North Korea Friendship Association.

President of the Sri Lanka – North Korea Friendship Association Duminda Welpola told The Sunday Leader the North Koreans were among foreign delegates invited for the seminar.

He said that the organisers were informed by the officials that the visas cannot be approved as it could hurt Sri Lanka’s relations with South Korea.

The seminar was held with the participation of delegates from the Self Reliance Societies of Japan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Mongolia.

Organisers of the seminar are linked to the joint opposition and The Sunday Leader learns the joint opposition had contacted the Foreign Ministry and sought approval for the visas but the visas were never approved.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se was in Sri Lanka last week at the same time the delegates for the seminar were in the country.

Relations between North Korea and South Korea are at its lowest after North Korea test fired nuclear missiles over the past few months.

A report submitted to the UN Security Council (UNSC) recently questioned links established between Sri Lanka and North Korea, led by Kim Jong-un.

The report by a Panel of Experts appointed by the UN has found that a North Korean diplomat had talks with the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry in November 2015.

The Panel established that a representative from Angola, a diplomat from Korea named Kim Hyok Chan, and another Angola-based diplomat Jon Chol Young, travelled together to Sri Lanka three times (between 2014 and 2016) to discuss shipbuilding projects.

Described as boat-building experts, they reportedly met with the State Minister of Defence of Sri Lanka on November 5, 2015 to discuss building naval patrol vessels at a Sri Lankan shipyard prior to sale to its Navy.

The Panel said in the report tabled by the Security Council on February 27, it has yet to receive a reply from Sri Lanka.

However, when contacted, the Foreign Ministry said that there was no reason to refuse entry to anyone and even if it was rejected it has nothing to do with the Foreign Ministry.

3 Comments for “North Koreans Refused Entry To Sri Lanka”

  1. Sri Lanka is supposed to be anon aligned country and must therefore be equal to all countries despite their animosities with other countries. Sri Lanka has no beef with North Korea and thus must treat NK equally. Besides the North Korean Friendship Association has nothing to do with the NK Government and are citizens of NK who seek friendship with other nationalities. Visas are handled by the Ministry of defence but Sri Lanka Government is responsible for the actions of the Defence Ministry. Sirisena Government is bum sucking Americans lately being staunch Communist. This is very wrong and unconstitutional

  2. Thassim

    N.Korea or formally known as DPRK were kicked out of Ceylon in 1971 after the JVP insurrection. They lobbied heavily and got a foot in before the Non-Aligned Conference. You cannot trust these terrorist sponsoring communist dictatorship.

  3. jude lank

    This is what happens when the country is run by weak leadership(Sri Lanka) as they have to obey their masters from the West.When the LTTE terrorist were running havoc in SL,it was the Indians & The Western countries were putting pressure on the SL Govt to negotiate with terrorists while the Russians,Chinese,Pakistanis and some Eastern Europeans were helping to rid the LTTE menace.That was due to a strong leadership in SL who didnt give two hoots to the Indians & their masters The West.

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