Published November 12, 2023
North Korea is closing nearly 25 percent of its embassies around the world amid speculation that the punishing sanctions against the Hermit Kingdom have crippled it financially.
The North Korean foreign ministry said the closures — which affects embassies in Spain, Hong Kong and various African nations — are a normal reshuffling of its regular affairs, The Guardian reported.
“In line with the changes in the international environment and the state external policy, we are either closing or newly opening diplomatic missions in other countries,” according to the ministry website. “We have also introduced such measures on several occasions in the past.”
However, South Korea‘s unification ministry said the closures are an indication that the ongoing United Nations-led sanctions have hobbled North Korea, making it a financial burden to keep the embassies open.
“This is a glimpse of North Korea’s dire economic situation, where it is difficult to maintain even minimal diplomatic relations with traditional allies,” the ministry said.
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RELATED: North Korea clossing embassies around the world amid suspected financial crisis
North Korea has already ended diplomatic missions at embassies in Uganda, Spain, Angola, Hong Kong and more.
In this photo provided by the North Korean government, supreme leader Kim Jong Un, right, with his daughter, left, attends a paramilitary parade ceremony marking North Korea’s 75th founding anniversary in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
Published November 11, 2023
North Korea continues shutting down many of its limited embassies around the world, furthering suspicions of an ongoing financial crisis.
The hermit kingdom is shutting down its embassy in Nepal, according to reports published Friday.
This is at least the fifth country North Korea has consciously pulled out of in recent months, ostensibly for diplomatic restructuring.
“We are conducting operations to withdraw and establish diplomatic missions in accordance with the changed global environment and national diplomatic policy,” a spokesperson for North Korea’s foreign ministry wrote earlier this month, according to translations from Yonhap News Agency.
Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has approved withdrawal from Nepal, Spain, Angola, Uganda and Hong Kong in recent months, leading to some confusion from diplomats.
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RELATED: North Korea is shutting embassies
China and Russia are the only friends it needs
Published November 9, 2023
The agostinho neto mausoleum, a brutalist multipronged spear taller than the Statue of Liberty, looms over Luanda, the capital of Angola. Built by a North Korean construction firm, the concrete monument is a reminder of the two countries’ historic ties. Some 3,000 North Korean troops fought in the terrible civil war that engulfed Angola in the 1970s and 80s. In North Korea’s version of history, Neto, Angola’s first president, learned the ways of anti-colonial struggle from the North Korean supreme leader, Kim Il Sung.
Yet on October 27th North Korea closed its embassy in Luanda. Its missions in Uganda, Spain and Hong Kong are also being shut down. According to the Yomiuri Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, more than a dozen North Korean embassies in all, about a quarter of the total, could soon close. The country’s foreign ministry says this is a routine reshuffling of resources designed to promote North Korea’s “national interests” in a changing world. Yet the closures point to two big shifts.