August 31, 2016 09:38
Ukraine has scrapped a civilian exchange accord with North Korea that included visa waivers, highlighting the North's growing diplomatic isolation even among remnants of the old Soviet empire.
The move comes after news that the North Korean Embassy in the brutal banana republic of Uzbekistan, its sole diplomatic mission in Central Asia, was shut down.
The Ukrainian parliament unanimously passed a bill scrapping civilian exchanges with North Korea and informed the North in the middle of this month, according to a diplomat.
From early October, North Koreans must apply for visas again if they visit and North Koreans who live there need new permits.
Even until last year, Ukraine was North Korea's fifth-largest trading partner after China, Russia, India and Thailand.
Ukraine said it scrapped the accord because Pyongyang did not support it over Russia's illegal annexation of the Crimea two years ago. The move cements Kiev's realignment with the West as it comes amid U.S.-led sanctions against the repressive North Korean regime.
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