The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Thursday that it has ended the missions of North Korea’s non-residential ambassador to the country and its non-residential ambassador to the DPRK, while also imposing visa restrictions on North Korean citizens.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC) announced the measures, which will additionally prevent new business licenses being issued to DPRK entities looking to operate in the country.
“The United Arab Emirates has terminated the diplomatic presence of the UAE non-resident ambassador to the Republic of North Korea and Pyongyang ambassador to the country, calling for a unified front against the Asian country’s nuclear programme,” the MoFAIC statement reads.
“Within this context, the MoFAIC announces additional measures, including stopping issuing entry visas for North Korean citizens and ceasing new business licenses for North Korean companies wishing to operate in the UAE,” it added.
The statement called for international efforts to stop North Korea’s proliferation of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons and called the country “a threat to international peace and stability.”
It also said that it had developed a framework in order to fully implement UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions 2371 and 2375 passed in August and September respectively.
In recent months several countries have distanced themselves diplomatically from North Korea in response its continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology.
The moves are in line with UNSC Resolutions that have sought the reduction of staff at North Korea’s overseas missions and with requests from the U.S. government for countries to reduce diplomatic relations with the DPRK.
UAE becomes the third Middle Eastern country to also announce visa restrictions for North Korean citizens following similar moves by Qatar and Kuwait, partly aimed at restricting the ability for North Korean laborers to operate in the region and earn currency for the regime.
The measures are also aimed at restricting the ability of North Koreans tied to sanctioned entities from using the country as a transit point, a practice documented by a UN Panel of Experts (PoE) tasked with monitoring sanctions implementation.
“In the past, the UAE has been a frequent transit and meeting point for North Korean diplomats suspected of being engaged in illicit activities,” Andrea Berger, a Senior Research Associate at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies (MIIS), told NK News.
“Tighter visa restrictions and greater scrutiny on North Korean nationals will hopefully change this practice,” she added.
In its implementation report for UNSC Resolution 2321 passed in November 2016, Sri Lanka also recently announced it would impose enhanced visa restrictions on North Koreans. Sri Lanka was similarly used as a transit point by North Koreans ties to sanctioned entities.
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Featured Image: Dubai Marina walk by Francisco Anzola on 2014-02-18 22:15:07