Go Search Go Contents Go to bottom site map

Spain moves to expel N. Korean ambassador: report

2017/09/19 11:27

Article View Option

SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- Spain has decided to expel North Korea's ambassador in protest over the communist nation's continued nuclear and missile provocations, becoming the first confirmed European country to do so, foreign news reports said Tuesday.

According to multiple wire reports, Spain's foreign minister asked North Korean ambassador Kim Hyok-chol on Monday to leave the European country by the end of this month.

"Today the Ambassador of North Korea (DPRK) in Spain has been declared persona non grata," Spain's foreign ministry also said in English on its Twitter account.

This undated photo from EPA shows the North Korean Embassy in Madrid. (Yonhap) This undated photo from EPA shows the North Korean Embassy in Madrid. (Yonhap)

In late August, the Spanish government condemned North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs as creating "a serious threat to peace in the region and to global security." It also warned that they would have consequences on bilateral relations, according to a report from AFP.

At that time, the report said, the North Korean ambassador was told by the Spanish government to downsize the embassy staff.

Despite the warnings, North Korea again conducted a nuclear test on Sept. 3 -- its sixth and most powerful -- and held another test-firing of a long-range ballistic missile, which flew over Japan to land in the North Pacific Ocean on Sept. 15.

The Sept. 3 test led to the adoption of a fresh sanctions resolution by the United Nations Security Council the following week, capping oil supplies to North Korea and banning imports of North Korean textiles.

The report marks the first confirmed planned expulsion of a North Korean ambassador from a European nation, as the international community heaps economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang over the acceleration of its nuclear and missile programs.

Earlier, Mexico, Peru and Kuwait ordered the expulsions of the North Korean ambassadors to their countries in condemnation.

The Philippines has also announced the suspension of trade with North Korea, while Thailand has cut back on its economic dealings with the communist regime.

Further diplomatic pressure on North Korea is expected as the U.N. General Assembly brings together national leaders, including those from South Korea, the United States and Japan, to discuss the North Korean provocations and other issues.