Kuwait is set to decrease the number of staff at the North Korean embassy – including its ambassador – as part of its implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, the country’s most recent report on sanctions implementation said.
“The authorities have decided to reduce the number of diplomatic staff at the Embassy of the Diplomatic People’s Republic of Korea from nine to four, including the Ambassador,” the implementation report, which reports on efforts to enforce resolutions 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013), 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016), 2356 (2017) and 2371 (2017), read.
Kuwait said the measures particularly related to UNSC resolution 2321, adopted on November 30 last year in response to North Korea’s fifth nuclear test.
Multiple outlets reported on Sunday and Monday that the Kuwaiti government had ordered North Korean ambassador So Chang Sik to leave the country within a month.
The announcement comes as two countries in Latin America recently announced that they would expel their North Korean ambassadors in response to the DPRK’s sixth nuclear test on September 3.
South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-hwa on September 11 said at a news conference in Seoul that a Middle Eastern country would soon expel its North Korean ambassador.
“One country in the Middle East in the process of designating the North Korean ambassador as PNG (persona non grata). And there are many countries that downgrade or sever the diplomatic and economic ties with North Korea,” Kang told media.
North Korea’s embassy in Kuwait City was established in 2003 and is the DPRK’s only diplomatic office in the Gulf.
In the implementation report, the Kuwaiti government said the country has “stopped issuing entry visas of any kind” to people who hold DPRK passports.
The Kuwaiti authorities have also “forbidden them from transferring their residency permits from one company to another,” and will not the renew permissions for North Korea with expired residency.
“Permit holders are requested to leave the country promptly once the permit has expired,” the report said.
The country also said the authorities “have suspended and halted all technical, scientific and technological cooperation” with the North in areas that could contribute to the Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons and WMDs.
The report also said that Kuwait would be stopping flights to Pyongyang.
“The competent authorities have decided to halt all scheduled and non-scheduled flights whose final destination is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, whether operated by the airline of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or by other airlines,” it read.
Kuwait banned Air Koryo flights from the country in October last year.
“Authorities have issued directives to all airlines prohibiting the carriage of goods to and from” the North, the report reads, adding that the government has “taken all legal measures against companies” which don’t abide by the directives.
The UNSC official website reported on Monday that Kuwait is the only member state to have submitted a UNSC resolution 2371 implementation report since its adoption on August 5.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
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Featured Image: Kuwait from above by Lindsay_Silveira on 2008-12-24 10:06:46