Sudan said on Wednesday it had cut all defense ties with North Korea, in a rare admission that it used to have such ties in the first place.

The announcement came as Washington is locked in a standoff over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear weapons programmes, and as Sudan, which is still on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, reels from an economic crisis.

“Sudan’s government would like to affirm that its defense production sector has canceled all contracts … with North Korea, and ended all relations, direct or through a third party,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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