While doing some research on North Korea, I came across an interesting article about how North Korean military advisors to Uganda partly inspired a bizarre cult-like guerrilla group called the Holy Spirit Movement. This movement later played into the formation of Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army. Also during the 1980’s, it is interesting to note that Robert Mugabe’s 5th Brigade was also trained by North Koreans. -Jack
The Ugandan-North Korean military relationship goes back to the early 1980s. After the overthrow of Idi Amin in 1979, Ugandan President Milton Obote took power. However, guerrillas, led by the current leader of Uganda Yoweri Museveni, threatened Obote’s nascent regime. Naturally, Obote looked to his military forces, the Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA), for security, loyalty, and strength.
However, these soldiers lacked specialized military training and discipline. Seeking improvement in these areas, Obote called upon his old friend, Kim Il Sung, for help. To Obote, the Korean People’s Army, with its steadfast loyalty to Kim, seemed like obvious role models for his military forces. Obote quickly signed a military agreement with Kim. A team of North Korean military advisors hopped on a plane to Uganda in 1982 – presumably, after cash was exchanged.
Stationed in the northern region of Uganda, the stronghold of the UNLA, these North Korean generals primarily taught artillery skills to cadets. Some UNLA soldiers were even sent to the DPRK for further military training. This exchange would have long-lasting effects on the future of Uganda.