By Enyichukwu Enemanna
North Korea says the recent closure of some of its embassies in Africa are simply part of “regular affairs” to improve its external relations, saying such actions are not unusual.
This is in response to accusation by its South Korean neighbour that it is a sign of the country’s “dire economic situation”.
Recently, North Korea shut embassies in Angola and Uganda.
It also closed its diplomatic missions in Hong Kong and Spain.
South Korea said this week that these moves offered a “glimpse of North Korea’s dire economic situation, where it is difficult to maintain even minimal diplomatic relations with traditional allies”.
In response however, a spokesperson of Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said the changes were “part of the regular affairs… to promote their national interests in external relations”, in comments posted on the ministry’s website on Friday.
“In line with the changes in the international environment and the state external policy, we are either closing or newly opening diplomatic missions in other countries,” said the official.
The statement did not specify which embassies were being opened or closed down.