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The 4 Countries Korea Lacks Ties with

Posted December. 16, 2005 08:34,   


Boundaries are disappearing in the global community these days. Out of the 190 nations in the world, however, there are still four countries Korea does not have official diplomatic relations with.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), Korea does not have diplomatic ties with Cuba, Syria, Macedonia, and Monaco.

North Korea has diplomatic relations with Cuba, Syria, and Macedonia.

Cuba entered into diplomatic relations with Korea in 1949, but severed relations in 1958 when Communists took over its government. And it is rumored that Syria is hesitant about entering into diplomatic relations with Korea because it has long had a “blood pledge alliance” with North Korea.

National relations with Macedonia are being delayed because Macedonia has been in a political conflict with Greece, Korea’s ally.

Monaco, a small country with a population of 32,000, does not have diplomatic relations with North or South Korea. A MOFAT official said, “Korea and Monaco’s trade volume does not even amount to 10 million dollars a year, and there are no special political interest in each other. Therefore, there is no particular reason to hurry into a diplomatic relationship.”

Though not official policy, these countries have special relationships with Korea. The Korean residents in Cuba are called Coreanos. In 1905, Koreans migrated to Mexico’s Henequen plantations. Some found the harsh life on plantations too difficult and moved to neighboring Cuba. Many of the Coreanos are known to be descendants of Korean independence fighters, but it is difficult to assess the exact situation without official relations.

South Korea’s relationship with Syria can be traced to before the establishment of the Korean government. Syrians first visited Seoul in 1947 as one of the nine UNTCOK (UN Temporary Commission on Korea) members to observe Korea’s first general elections.

Macedonia is located on the Balkan Peninsula, the starting point of World War I. Korea and Macedonia agreed on the principles for diplomatic relations in 1995. But one year later, the Communist party in Macedonia officially supported a Korean organization of university students that was considered as a pro-enemy organization, freezing all progress in the relationship.

Meanwhile, Korea has not entered into diplomatic relations with North Korea, Taiwan, West Sahara, and Palestine. However, the Korean government does not consider these states as nations.