Australia bars North Korea from reopening embassy

March 7, 2013 04:09

CANBERRA - Australia has barred North Korea from reopening an embassy in Canberra because of the reclusive state's recent nuclear test, the government said on Thursday.

Australia, a close US ally, is one of a few Western countries to have diplomatic ties with North Korea, which first opened a Canberra embassy in May 2002. It closed the embassy six years later and then sought this year to reopen it.But Australia, a rotating UN Security Council member, has been strongly critical of the nuclear tests and has helped drive international calls for tougher sanctions against Pyongyang.

"The proposal to reopen a North Korean Embassy in Canberra is not currently progressing," an Australian foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

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