Egypt’s defence minister, on a visit to Seoul, announced that his country has cut military ties with North Korea, according to a report by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
There was no immediate confirmation from the Egyptian government of the agency’s report, but Cairo has come under mounting pressure in recent weeks to sever ties with North Korea as the United States seek to curb Pyongyang’s efforts to develop long-range nuclear weapons.
Last month Washington cut or delayed nearly $300 million in aid to Egypt over its human rights record and its ties with Pyongyang.
In an August 24 briefing, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the Trump administration has had conversations with Egypt about the need to isolate North Korea.
Countries that do business with Pyongyang, she warned, enabled money to go into North Korea’s illegal nuclear and ballistic weapons programs.
Mohammed el-Menshawy, an Egyptian analyst based in Washington, told The Associated Press the Trump administration has been privately urging Cairo to cut military ties with Pyongyang.
“The recent cut in the U.S. Military aid to Egypt was a clear message to Cairo: You choose us or North Korea, you cannot have military relations with both of us,” he said.