Spain expels N Korean diplomat over missile tests

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Madrid, Sep 1 (IANS) The Spanish government has summoned North Korean Ambassador Kim Hyok Chol to inform him of its decision to reduce from three to two the number of diplomatic personnel allowed to represent Pyongyang in Madrid.

The move has come in response to the recent missile tests by the North Korean regime headed by Kim Jong-un, Efe news reported on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the Diplomatic Information Office, the Spanish Foreign Ministry reiterated to the envoy Spain’s condemnation of the successive nuclear tests and the launching of ballistic missiles by Pyongyang, particularly the latest such launch, which sent an ICBM over Japanese territory before it crashed into the Pacific Ocean.

The Spanish government called for “full, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization” of the North Korean arsenal, which — it said — makes the “serious risk of conflict” more likely.

In addition, Madrid repeated that the nuclear tests and missile launches represent a “violation of relevant resolutions” by the UN Security Council.

“The nuclear and ballistic programs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea undermine the nuclear non-proliferation regime and create a serious threat to peace in the region and for global security,” Spanish authorities argued.

Madrid also noted that the North Korean Embassy had already been warned that continuing with such activities would bring consequences for bilateral relations.

Spain had condemned Pyongyang’s launching of the ICBM that flew over the Japanese island of Hokkaido on Monday and asked the North Korean regime to renounce “its challenge to the international community” and declare a moratorium on its nuclear and ballistic testing.

–IANS

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