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German embassy in Pyongyang temporarily closes

Posted February. 29, 2020 07:49,   

Updated February. 29, 2020 07:49


Germany will withdraw its embassy in North Korea. It is the first time that a foreign government office in Pyongyang closes since the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) broke out.

According to a diplomatic source on Friday, Germany’s foreign ministry has shared its decision to close the embassy in Pyongyang with South Korea. “The German foreign ministry recently delivered its decision to the South Korean Embassy in Germany,” said an informed source.

“Germany’s foreign ministry has recently decided to temporarily close its embassy in North Korea and move the ambassador and his family to Vladivostok, Russia,” German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Thursday (local time). It reported that the German government thought it would be hard to operate the embassy due to North Korea’s travel restriction on diplomats due to COVID-19.

North Korea has put a restriction on staff of foreign diplomatic offices and international organizations in Pyongyang. The foreign officials can only use grocery stores in areas allowed for diplomats. “Some embassies are withdrawing from North Korea as travel restrictions have made it impossible for them to carry out their work,” said a South Korean government insider.

Na-Ri Shin journari@donga.com