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Kuwait to expel Pyongyang ambassador following US-North Korea tensions

17 September 2017

US President Donald Trump listens as Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House.

Kuwait has given North Korea's a week to leave the country and restrict visas to the hundreds of workers in the country.

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Kuwait has made a decision to expel North Korea's ambassador to the country and four other diplomats, sources have indicated based on intelligence reports.

It comes shortly after Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah visited Washington as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea ratchet up.

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The United States embassy in Kuwait said in a statement on Sunday that the small emirate was "a key regional partner on (North Korea) and many other issues", adding that Kuwait has taken "positive steps in regards to implementing UN resolutions related to" North Korea. The reduction in diplomatic staff in Kuwait could limit North Korea's ability to earn money for its nuclear program through these workers, as some reports say the embassy has also decided not to renew work permits for North Koreans.

While a small market compared to China and Russian Federation, the amount of money North Korean laborers in the Gulf kick back to the government helps Pyongyang evade global sanctions, authorities say. On Monday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted ninth sanctions resolution against North Korea over the country's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3, imposing a ban on the country's textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

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Egypt has also cut ties with North Korea, following USA pressure.

Kuwait to expel Pyongyang ambassador following US-North Korea tensions