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Ugandan President declines Pyongyang award

By Yi Whan-woo

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has repeatedly rejected North Korea's offer to accept its most honorable award named after its late founder Kim Il-sung, diplomatic sources said Friday.

They speculated that the refusal reflected Pyongyang's deepening international isolation because of its nuclear program and state-perpetrated human rights violations.

The sources said the Ugandan President declined to visit Pyongyang to accept the International Kim Il Sung Prize in April.

His refusal came after North Korea nominated him in October 2014.

Introduced in 1993, the prize is given to a world leader who faithfully fulfills North Korea's indigenous political ideology of Juche, which stresses independence and self-reliance of the people.

Pyongyang nominated Museveni in recognition of "his contribution to independent development of African countries and peace and prosperity in Uganda."

The Ugandan government acknowledged the offer was made, but, without giving details, has made it clear that Museveni will not accept the award, according to the sources.

They said the Ugandan foreign ministry reiterated the refusal early this month when North Korean Ambassador to Uganda Myong Kyong-chol met its officials to try to convince them.

Only two world leaders have accepted the Kim Il Sung Prize since 1993.

In 2008, former Namibian President Sam Nujoma accepted the award as did ex-Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk in 2012.

By Yi Whan-woo

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has repeatedly rejected North Korea's offer to accept its most honorable award named after its late founder Kim Il-sung, diplomatic sources said Friday.

They speculated that the refusal reflected Pyongyang's deepening international isolation because of its nuclear program and state-perpetrated human rights violations.

The sources said the Ugandan President declined to visit Pyongyang to accept the International Kim Il Sung Prize in April.

His refusal came after North Korea nominated him in October 2014.

Introduced in 1993, the prize is given to a world leader who faithfully fulfills North Korea's indigenous political ideology of Juche, which stresses independence and self-reliance of the people.

Pyongyang nominated Museveni in recognition of "his contribution to independent development of African countries and peace and prosperity in Uganda."

The Ugandan government acknowledged the offer was made, but, without giving details, has made it clear that Museveni will not accept the award, according to the sources.

They said the Ugandan foreign ministry reiterated the refusal early this month when North Korean Ambassador to Uganda Myong Kyong-chol met its officials to try to convince them.

Only two world leaders have accepted the Kim Il Sung Prize since 1993.

In 2008, former Namibian President Sam Nujoma accepted the award as did ex-Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk in 2012.

Yi Whan-woo yistory@koreatimes.co.kr
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