The North Korean ambassador to Italy’s accreditation as a diplomat will be stopped and he will be asked to leave the country, the country’s foreign minister said on Sunday.
In an interview with la Repubblica, Angelino Alfano said that the decision to expel Mun Jung Nam had been made in light of the DPRK’s continued nuclear and missile tests.
“The Ambassador will have to leave Italy,” Alfano said, in comments translated by Reuters. “We want to impress on Pyongyang that isolation is inevitable if they don’t change tack.”
Italy will not fully cut diplomatic relations with the DPRK, Alfona said, stating that it was important to maintain open lines of communication.
Mun was appointed DPRK Ambassador to Italy in late August, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported at the time.
He replaced longtime diplomat Kim Chun Guk – who was reported by South Korean press to have died of cancer – and had not yet received full accreditation from the Italian government.
The decision by Rome to expel Mun makes Italy the fifth country in a month to declare its North Korean ambassador a persona non grata.
Other diplomatic means are being used to put pressure on Pyongyang, too. On Thursday, Malaysia announced that it would no longer allow its citizens to visit the North.
A sanctions implementation report submitted to the United Nations by Italy earlier in the year detailed some of the efforts recently taken by Rome to enforce rules handed down by resolution 2321.
Among these measures was a move to place on hold the acceptance and accreditation of a new Third Secretary at the DPRK Embassy in Rome.
Resolution 2321 called on member states “to reduce the number of staff at DPRK diplomatic missions and consular posts.”