Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which is also called North Korea, has decided to shut down its residential mission in Kathmandu of Nepal.
Ambassador of the DPRK to Nepal Kim Yong Su had informed the Nepali Premier about the closure of its embassy to the Prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal during the courtesy call meeting earlier this week.
Now, the North Korean Embassy in New Delhi of India will look over Nepal’s affairs.
As sources indicated, the reason is not more than a financial crisis as the hardline Communist country in the Far East Pacific –North Korea has been facing a hardship economy since many years under economic sanctions by the United Nations in 2018 blaming that North Korea has been developing nuclear weapons for a long time.
But the North Korean Ambassador has given the reason for the closure is the ongoing recession and changing geopolitical environment.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sources, the notice regarding the closure of the embassy in Kathmandu has already been submitted at the Ministry.
Though the North Koreans had started restaurant business in some places of Kathmandu valley to avoid the financial crunch from the UN led blockade the Nepal government has restricted their activities to be performed by the North Koreans.
Diplomatic relations between Nepal and North Korea were established on May 15, 1974 and in the same year North Korea opened its residential embassy in Kathmandu. Currently, the embassy of North Korea is located in Bakhundole of Lalitpur.
However, Nepal doesn’t have a residential mission in Pyongyang. Nepal Embassy based in Beijing of China is concurrently accredited to DPRK.
Besides numerous high-level visits by Nepalese political leaders to North Korea and signed bilateral trade agreements, Kathmandu Metropolitan City and Pyongyang of DPRK established sister-city relations in November 2001.
Similarly, Bhaktapur Municipality of Nepal and Pyongsong City of South Pyongan Province of DPRK signed an agreement on establishment of the friendly relations between two cities on 19 July 2014 in Bhaktapur.
The relations between Nepal and DPRK have remained cordial and friendly. Nepal has a longstanding supportive position for the peaceful reunification of Korea as per the will of the Korean people.
In Kathmandu, currently, there are about 49 diplomatic missions including Embassies, Consulates, High Commissions of various countries. But now with the closing of the North Korean Embassy in Kathmandu, there will be 48 in total.
However, some European countries have been in talk with the Nepal Government to open their residential embassies in Kathmandu.