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North to close embassy in Australia next month

Jan 23,2008
CANBERRA ― North Korea can’t afford the bills anymore, so it will close its embassy here, Australia’s foreign ministry said yesterday.
North Korean diplomats informed Australian officials in November that the four-person embassy, located in a diplomatic quarter of Australia’s capital Canberra, would shut in February.
“The embassy advised that they plan to continue with non-resident diplomatic accreditations from Jakarta,” a foreign ministry spokesman told Reuters. The mission said in a letter it was closing due to “financial reasons.”
“The DPRK said it would consider reopening if its financial situation improves,” the spokesman said, referring to the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Australia is one of few Western countries to have diplomatic ties with the reclusive state. Pyongyang opened its embassy in May 2002.
In September 2006, Australia announced sanctions against 12 companies and one person connected with financing Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program, including a visa ban on North Korean nationals and on North Korean shipping.
Reuters


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