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North Korea Closes Some Embassies Abroad as Part of 'Regular Affairs'

© Sputnik / Maria Frolova / Go to the mediabankA quay of the Taedong river and a view of the People`s Palace of Study in Pyongyang.
A quay of the Taedong river and a view of the People`s Palace of Study in Pyongyang. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.11.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The North Korean Foreign Ministry said on Friday it was closing some of its diplomatic missions overseas, but as part of "regular affairs" and due to the need to adapt to the ever-changing international environment.
Earlier this week, North Korea closed its embassy in Spain and prepared to shut down its diplomatic offices in Angola and Uganda, media 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. Effective relocation and operation of the state's diplomatic force are part of the regular affairs conducted by sovereign states with a view to promote their national interests in external relations," a foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement released by a North Korean state-run news agency.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his North Korean counterpart Coe Son-hui during Lavrov's two-day visit to Pyongyang, October 19, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.10.2023
Lavrov’s North Korea Trip Designed to ‘Counterbalance’ US Belligerence in Asian Theater
Pyongyang also specified that similar activities had been conducted in the past multiple times.
Meanwhile, the South Korean Unification Ministry believes that North Korea's decision to shut down some of its embassies has been dictated by economic problems faced by the country as a result of international sanctions, a South Korean news agency reported.

"They show how the North struggles to sustain the minimum diplomatic relations with its traditional allies due to its difficult economic situation," a source in the South Korean Unification Ministry was quoted as saying by the media.

North Korea has 53 diplomatic missions abroad as of October, the South Korean government reportedly said, adding that the number was expected to drop to 49.
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