North Korea sends greetings to new Australian Prime Minister

14 10 2013

australia-north-korea(NK News, by Hamish Macdonald, September 24, 2013) North Korea on Tuesday sent greetings to Australia’s new Prime Minister Tony Abbott, state media said, despite recently being prevented from establishing an embassy in Australia.

Pak Pong Ju, Premier of the DPRK Cabinet, sent a congratulatory message that “expressed expectation and belief that the relations between the two countries would develop on good terms on the principle of respect for sovereignty, equality and mutual benefits,” North Korea’s Korea Central News Agency said.

The message however comes just months after Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) – under former Labor Senator Bob Carr – denied North Korea’s application to re-open an embassy in Canberra, Australia.

DFAT recently told NK News that it had blocked a North Korean embassy set-up delegation from inspecting a potential site in Canberra due to Pyongyang’s February 12 nuclear test, which had threatened “international peace and security”.

“This is the third time that North Korea is trying to reopen its embassy in Australia. Every time the expectations are high and benefits are irresistible, but short honeymoons lead to bitter disappointments,” Australia National University North Korea researcher Dr. Leonid Petrov told NK News.

“It must be the rock-solid Australia-U.S. alliance and North Korea’s scandalous international reputation that make such diplomatic comebacks recurring and intriguing,” Petrov added.

[…] The Liberal Party government was elected on September 7, and Prime Minister Abbott assumes the office from former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

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