North Korea is closing more embassies in Africa and South Asia — the latest in a string of diplomatic missions to be recently shuttered.
The dictatorship’s embassies in Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are expected to cease operations, according to reports.
These follow last week’s close of the diplomatic mission to Dhaka and more than a month of similar announcements.
Embassy closures in the African countries of Angola and Uganda were also announced this month via state news outlets Rodong Sinmun and Voice of Korea.
North Korean presence in Hong Kong, Nepal, and Spain has also been rolled back.
South Korean observers have speculated that the retirement of various North Korean diplomatic envoys shows a lack of financial resources and the increasing effectiveness of international sanctions.
“The flurry of measures appear to show that it is no longer feasible for the North to maintain diplomatic missions as their efforts to obtain foreign currency have stumbled due to strengthened sanctions,” a ministry official told Yonhap News Agency.
Insiders have long reported that North Korean embassies in foreign countries are not financially supported by Pyongyang.
Instead, foreign missions are responsible for creating their own – often illegal – sources of income and kicking money back to the regime, some experts say.
Supreme leader Kim Jong Un’s regime has become notably more entangled with its historically communist allies in recent months.
The hermit nation successfully launched a military spy satellite this month after two previous failures, with many international observers attributing the accomplishment to documented Russian collaboration.
Kim Jong Un met with Chinese diplomats in July, during which Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping said, “No matter how the international storm changes, safeguarding, consolidating and developing relations between China and North Korea will always be a firm policy direction of the Chinese Communist Party and the government.”
Original article source: North Korea closes additional embassies amid suspected financial issues