Although North Korea and Spain established diplomatic relations in 2001, it was not until 2013 when Pyongyang opened an embassy in Madrid, in the Aravaca neighborhood. At the head of the legation they put a veteran diplomat named Kim Hyok-chol, who ended up expelled from the country in 2017 in protest of the nuclear tests carried out by the Kim Jong-un regime. A couple of years later, the embassy was attacked by a group of armed men who stole computers and various documents. The turbulent history of this diplomatic mission seems to have just come to an end: North Korea has closed its embassy in Spain.
The news was reported this Wednesday by the South Korean Yonhap news agency, which cites a North Korean diplomatic document. The current head of the mission, commercial attaché So Yun Sok, who played the role of acting ambassador, would have been the one who announced the closure, explaining that it would be the North Korean embassy in Italy that would from now on be in charge of all matters between North Korea and Spain.
The specific reason behind this decision by Pyongyang has not been revealed, but the movement coincides with the official closure of at least four of the 53 diplomatic missions (47 embassies, three consulates and three representative offices) that the North has in abroad, including the embassies of African countries such as Angola and Uganda. Another dozen diplomatic offices will also close their shutters in the coming months.
“This spate of closures seems to show that it is no longer feasible for the North to maintain diplomatic missions, as its efforts to obtain foreign currency have stumbled due to tightening sanctions,” an official at the Ministry of Unification told South Korean media on Wednesday. South Korea.
Kim’s hermetic regime, after three long years with its borders more closed than usual due to the pandemic, without the entry of a large part of the vital imports on which they depend so much, is going through the worst period of food insecurity since a famine. massive devastated the country almost 30 years ago, when the fall of the Soviet Union left them without supplies.