Geopolitical Implications of President Seretse Khama’s 1976 State Visit to North Korea

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Boga Thura Manatsha


Botswana and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) started diplomatic relations in 1974. Botswana severed its relations with North Korea in 2014. The United States (US) got worried when Botswana’s first President, Seretse Khama (1966-1980), started diplomatic relations with North Korea’s founding leader, Kim II Sung (1948-1994). Kim was leading the fight against colonialism and imperialism globally. From 1956 to the 1980s, he supported the liberation struggles against colonialism in many African countries. Many African leaders looked to him for material and moral support. This paper focuses on the geopolitical implications of Seretse Khama’s state visit to North Korea in 1976. It also comments on Botswana-North Korea relations during his presidency. Khama was a capitalist and liberal leader, who was pro-West and the US. In contrast, Kim was a communist trained in China and the Union of Soviet and Socialist Republic’s repressive political systems.

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