North Korea has really opened an embassy in Minsk. The information was confirmed by the Foreign Ministry of Belarus on Tuesday.
However, the current DPRK’s diplomatic mission in Belarus is not fully-functioning yet, the MFA has stressed. The building is located in the private sector.
“There’s nothing sensational about the establishment of the North Korea’s embassy here. For example, embassies of over 30 states operate in Pyongyang, including diplomatic missions of China, Russia, Austria, France, Germany and Poland. North Korean embassies are open in over fourty countries like the Czech Republic, Sweden, Mexico, South Africa”, the Belarusian Ministry noted.
Well, it’s probably not that much about sensation, but about the way this opening WAS ANNOUNCED.
The matter was first mentioned during the visit of a DPRK’s official to Minsk on 19 September. It was said that the sides considered the possibility of opening the embassy.
Several days later, the DPRK’s state-run media outlet KCNA claimed that the embassy had already opened in Minsk, an assertion was repeated in the Russian media as well. Yet Belarusian authorities refrained from comment and kept insisting the discussions were still underway.
When journalists tried to find the Embassy following the address cited by KCNA, all they saw was a usual residential building with no flags and no information signs.
They weren’t able to meet residents of the apartment indicated as the Embassy’s office. No one was available over the phones of the Embassy.
The only information that journalists managed to get is that the Embassy of North Korea in Belarus consisted of at least two people – Chargé d’Affaires Mr. Park Yong-Sik and Sales Representative Mr. Liu Hong Chol.
Today Belarusian MFA has officially confirmed the opening of the DPRK’s embassy. It is located in a private building at Pieršy Smorhaŭski lane, 16, the address being different from the originally cited.
The locals told TUT.BY they witnessed the opening ceremony last Monday. About 30 Koreans gathered to pronounce speeches and raise the flag. However, since then the building remains rather quiet and seems deserted.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ambassador of North Korea has not been accredited, the country did not file a relevant request and the decision on this matter will be taken separately.
MFA’s spokesperson added that Belarus’s position and assessment of the actions that North Korea recently took contradictory to the international law and UN Security Council resolutions remain unchanged.