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North Korea to Shutter Embassy in Democratic Republic of Congo

The North Korean Embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is set to close, the central African country’s foreign ministry told NK News, making it the seventh DPRK overseas mission to shut its doors since late October. 

The shuttering of the embassy in Kinshasa follows the DPRK’s withdrawal from BangladeshSpainHong KongUgandaAngola and Nepal. A Japanese media outlet previously reported that Pyongyang plans to close over a dozen embassies in total.

“The closure of the North Korean embassy in Kinshasa is accurate,” a DRC foreign ministry spokesperson told NK News, adding that the DPRK’s Embassy in Ethiopia will handle affairs related to the DRC going forward. 

The spokesperson said North Korea provided no reason for the closure.

The DPRK’s Embassy in South Africa took over affairs related to Angola and Uganda after the embassy closures in those countries. 

North Korea state media has attributed the decision to shutter numerous embassies to the current international climate and the government’s external policies, while stating that new missions will open in other countries. 

Nicaragua’s Vice-President Rosario Murillo stated in August that North Korea is planning to establish an embassy in Managua and has requested for an ambassador in Pyongyang, though confirmation of any new embassies has not been confirmed.

According to former North Korean diplomats Ryu Hyun-woo and Tae Yong-ho, who spoke with NK News in October, the recent closures of DPRK embassies are probably due to North Korea’s economic struggles and stringent U.N. sanctions, which have hampered these outposts’ ability to generate illegal income.

Diplomatic relations between North Korea and CRD started in 1972, while Pyogyang’s ties with the Republic of the Congo started in 1964.

DRC has reportedly engaged in activities that violate sanctions with North Korea, including employing North Korean workers to construct statues for Pyongyang’s Mansudae Art Studio.

Source : NK News