North Korean authorities confirmed on Friday the closure of their embassies in Spain, Angola and Uganda, citing issues of “diplomatic competence”, two days after sources close to the matter indicated the permanent termination of these missions. Now, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson has indicated that the goal is to “reorganize the diplomatic capacity” of the Asian nation, which has also withdrawn its diplomats from Hong Kong, as the Chinese government announced. He said, according to a brief message published on the ministry’s website: “We are implementing withdrawals to restore our diplomatic missions in accordance with global geopolitical change and national diplomatic policy.” South Korea's Unification Ministry, for its part, noted that the change appears to be an “indicator of the worsening economic conditions” of the neighboring country, which have worsened with the extension of sanctions imposed on its ballistic and nuclear program. “It is an example of the difficulties North Korea faces in maintaining minimal diplomatic relations with its traditional allies due to the economic situation,” a senior South Korean official, who requested anonymity, told Yonhap News Agency. Instead of receiving money from Pyongyang, North Korean diplomatic missions generally seek money through commercial activities that send their profits into the country, according to information from former senior officials who managed to defect from North Korea.
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