First Published: 2017-10-12

UAE downgrades diplomatic ties with North Korea
Abu Dhabi announces end of visas issued to North Korean nationals following suit with Gulf neighbours Kuwait, Qatar as tensions soar over Pyongyang's weapons program.
Middle East Online

Waitress takes order at North Korean restaurant in Dubai

ABU DHABI - The United Arab Emirates on Thursday announced it had stopped issuing visas to North Korean nationals and downgraded diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, following similar moves by Kuwait and Qatar.

The UAE government ended the mission of its non-resident ambassador to North Korea as well as that of Pyongyang's non-resident ambassador to the UAE, the government-run WAM news agency said.

Abu Dhabi will also no longer grant North Korean companies authorisation to work in any of the seven emirates, WAM said.

Tensions over North Korea's weapons programme have soared in recent months, with Pyongyang launching a flurry of missiles and conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test last month.

UN sanctions against North Korea were last month expanded to include North Korean guest workers, along with textiles and a cap on oil exports.

South Korea and Japan have pressured Gulf states to stop employing North Korean workers, whose income goes towards remittances that benefit the regime in Pyongyang, according to Asian diplomatic sources.

In September, Kuwait gave the North Korean ambassador one month to leave the country and stopped issuing visas to all North Koreans.

Qatar has also said it would not renew visas for North Korean labourers, with the last work permits set to expire at the end of 2018.

Between 2,000 and 2,500 North Koreans currently work in Kuwait, and another estimated 1,000 in Qatar.

The UAE is home to some 1,300 North Korean workers, according to a South Korean diplomat.

 

Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation

Russian medics operate on Yemen's Saleh despite embargo

Baghdad condemns oil deal between Russia’s Rosneft, Kurds

Power shifts again in Iraq's multi-ethnic Kirkuk

Syrian general accused of journalist deaths killed in Deir Ezzor

Raqa liberators ready for civilian handover, on to next battle

Revolutionary Guards say Iranian missile program will continue

Erdogan calls on three major mayors to resign

ICC investigating several war crimes in Mali

Erdogan says may shut Iraqi border at any moment

Tunisian couple jailed for 'public indecency' over car kiss

Next round of Syria talks at end October

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

PSG's Khelaifi to be quizzed in Swiss World Cup probe