North Korea is shutting down its embassies around the world amid suspicions of a financial crisis. The Kim Jong Un-led kingdom has already decided to close down its diplomatic missions in Nepal, Angola, Uganda, Spain and Hong Kong, according to reports over the last week.
“We are conducting operations to withdraw and establish diplomatic missions in accordance with the changed global environment and national diplomatic policy,” a North Korea foreign ministry spokesperson wrote earlier this month, according to translations from Yonhap News Agency.
Supreme Leader Kim has approved the withdrawal in recent months, leaving diplomats confused. Reports say that North Korea’s decision is a sign that the country is struggling to acquire funds overseas because of international sanctions.
South Korea’s unification ministry said on Tuesday that the ‘closures indicate a rapidly deteriorating financial situation for their northern counterparts’.
“The flurry of measures appears to show that it is no longer feasible for the North to maintain diplomatic missions as their efforts to obtain foreign currency have stumbled due to strengthened sanctions,” the South Korean Unification Ministry said last month, according to translations from Yonhap.
How bad is North Korea’s economic woes?
According to reports, the kingdom has been struggling to provide its own population through domestic production and trade rules that heavily rely on allies.
Several diplomats who have left North Korea have said that embassies are largely funded by illegal activity.
The embassies shutting down could be “one of the country’s biggest foreign policy shakeups in decades”, wrote Chad O’Carroll, founder of the North Korea-focused website NK Pro…..See More