Egypt’s Minister of Defence General Sedki Sobhi headed to Seoul on Sunday, leading a high military delegation in response for an official invitation from his South Korean counterpart, according to a statement from the ministry of defence.
The visit is set to last for several days, and the two military leaders will discuss military and security cooperation between the two sides, the statement read.
Sobhi’s visit to Seoul comes amid tensions in the Korean peninsula a week after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) successively tested a miniaturised hydrogen nuclear device.
Egypt has expressed its concern on over the North Korea’s latest hydrogen bomb test, describing it as a threat to regional security in East Asia, and during an emergency meeting to discuss the North Korean test, Egypt’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Amr Aboulatta said that Egypt expresses its strong “commitment to dealing swiftly with any threat to the nuclear non-proliferation regime.”
Egypt faces accusations of military cooperation with North Korea, Gardiner Harris and Declan Walsh of the New York Times suggest that a key factor in the decision of the United States to withdrawal of military and financial aids to Cairo is its ongoing relationship with Pyongyang.
According to the Samuel Ramani of the Diplomat, Egypt has military ties with Pyongyang since the 1970s, when former Egyptian President Anwar Al-Sadat authorized the sale of Soviet-made Scud-B missiles to North Korea as a reward for its contributions to Egypt’s 1973 war effort, and Pyongyang technologically assisted Egypt’s Scud-B missile production efforts.