The United Arab Emirates has terminated the diplomatic presence of the UAE non-resident ambassador to the Republic of North Korea and Pyongyang ambassador to the country, calling for a unified front against the Asian country's nuclear programme.
"The measures. come within the context of (the UAE's) obligation as a responsible member of the worldwide community to strengthen the global will and to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and missile programmes", the Foreign Ministry said.
The UAE foreign ministry also announced on Thursday an end to the creation of new business licenses for North Korean companies wishing to operate in the UAE.
Tensions over North Korea's weapons programme have soared in recent months, with Pyongyang launching a flurry of missiles and conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test last month.
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In Washington, the US State Department welcomed the UAE's decision.
"Very happy to hear that", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said during a press briefing. It's a big blow to the regime, which has thousands of guest workers in the Gulf region providing an importance source of hard currency for the isolated nation. Malaysia imposed a travel ban to North Korea last month, following Pyongyang's repeated ballistic missile tests.
Qatar also has said it no longer would issue visas to North Korean workers.
"Approximately 1,000 remain, but this number will decline rapidly as their employment contracts expire".