“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 U.S. 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 U.N. Security Council member, has been strongly critical of the nuclear tests and has helped drive international calls for tougher sanctions against Pyongyang.
Australia temporarily blocked North Korean officials from visiting Canberra in February to inspect possible locations for the embassy, shortly after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. resolutions.