UAE follows Qatar and Kuwait lead and terminates North Korea diplomatic mission

Reuters

The United Arab Emirates said on Thursday it was ending the mission of North Korea’s nonresident ambassador and terminating its own envoy’s services in Pyongyang, the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency WAM.

The UAE would also stop issuing new visas or company licenses to North Korean citizens, WAM added.

Several thousand North Korean workers reside in the U.S-allied Gulf region, mainly working on construction sites.

“The measures … come within the context of its obligation as a responsible member of the international community to strengthen the international will and to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and missile programs,” the ministry said.

U.S. President Donald Trump urged United Nations member states last month to turn up the pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, using his maiden speech to the world body to address what he has said is the top global challenge.

North Korea’s nuclear tests and missile launches have stirred global tensions and prompted several rounds of international sanctions at the U.N. Security Council.

The announcement follows similar moves by the UAE’s Gulf Arab neighbors, Qatar and Kuwait, which last month downgraded their ties with Pyongyang and ceased issuing new visas to North Korean citizens.