UAE cuts diplomatic ties with North Korea


US President Donald Trump had urged United Nations member states last month to turn up the pressure on North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, using his maiden speech to the world body to address what he has said is the top global challenge.

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.

Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has terminated the diplomatic presence of its non-resident Ambassador to North Korea and the Pyongyang Ambassador to the country, calling for a unified front against the country's nuclear programme.

"Very happy to hear that", State Department spokesman Heather Nauert told reporters.

Thousands of North Koreans reportedly work in the Middle East to earn foreign currency to fund the regime's weapons programs.

The US has rallied the global community to sever ties with the North to further isolate the regime and force it to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

In Washington, the US State Department welcomed the UAE's decision.

Kuwait has North Korea's only embassy in the Gulf region. "There are many countries that are taking those steps that we have asked (them) to take".

In September, Kuwait gave the North Korean ambassador one month to leave the country and stopped issuing visas to all North Koreans.

The UAE is home to some 1,300 North Korean workers, according to a South Korean diplomat.