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Ebrard, seated, at the UN. Ebrard, seated, at the UN.

Mexico to reestablish diplomatic relations with North Korea: foreign minister

Ties were cut by the previous government in 2017

Mexico will reestablish diplomatic and commercial relations with North Korea, Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard said.

We have a position of hands-off around the world, we respect every government and we’re going to reestablish relations with North Korea as well, like any other country,” Ebrard told reporters on the sidelines of a United Nations Security Council meeting in New York last week.

Mexico currently has a seat on the Security Council after being elected unopposed last year as the representative for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ebrard acknowledged that the east Asian hermit kingdom has violated international law and Security Council resolutions by carrying out nuclear tests and launching long-range missiles. He didn’t say when relations with North Korea might resume or reveal any details about bilateral negotiations.

The previous federal government cut Mexico’s ties with the nation led by Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un in 2017 amid international pressure to do so, especially from the United States, in light of its nuclear activity. The Foreign Affairs Ministry declared the North Korean ambassador a persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country within 72 hours.

The Mexican government said at the time that the expulsion was to express its “absolute rejection” of North Korea’s nuclear activity, describing it as “a grave threat to peace and international security and a growing threat to nations of the region, including fundamental allies of Mexico such as Japan and South Korea.”

The office of then president Enrique Peña Nieto ordered government departments to comply with UN resolutions on Pyongyang.

Ebrard’s indication that Mexico will reestablish relations with North Korea may be an appeal to the ruling Morena party’s base, while showing foreign policy independence from the United States, the news agency Bloomberg said.

The foreign minister confirmed last week that he intends to seek the Morena candidacy to contest the 2024 presidential election.

With reports from Milenio and Bloomberg 

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