Italy becomes fifth country to expel North Korean ambassador

Rome [Italy], October 2 : Italy has added to the list of the countries that have expelled a North Korean ambassador, saying that isolation was "inevitable", if Pyongyang continued to push ahead with its nuclear weapons programme.

Italy has followed in the footsteps of Spain, Mexico, Peru and Kuwait. The decision follows the United States' constant invocation to the countries that have diplomatic relations with North Korea to sever or at least scale them back.

The Trump administration, in addition to pushing for tougher sanctions, has been vigorously lobbying governments that have diplomatic relations with North Korea to curtail them as punishment for its continued defiance of the international community's calls to stop missile launches and nuclear tests.

Angelino Alfano, Italy's foreign minister, said the North Korean ambassador in Rome, Mun Jong Nam, had been ordered to leave.

"We want to make Pyongyang realise that their isolation is inevitable if they don't change tack," Alfano told Italian newspaper la Repubblica in an interview published Sunday.

Mun had been in Rome barely a month, with his appointment announced by the North's Korean Central News Agency on August 28.

A United Nations Security Council resolution passed late last year required member states to reduce the number of staff at North Korean diplomatic missions and consular posts.

After launching two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July technically capable of reaching the United States, North Korea detonated what it claimed to be a hydrogen bomb.

Source: ANI