Britain’s ambassador to North Korea says the embassy has temporarily closed in the autocratic regime due to strict coronavirus restrictions.
"The British Embassy in Pyongyang closed temporarily on 27 May 2020 and all diplomatic staff have left the DPRK for the time being," Ambassador Colin Crooks tweeted Thursday, using the abbreviation for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name.
NK News, a South Korea-based news site that monitors the North, reported that British Embassy staff had crossed the border into China by land.
The British Foreign Office issued a statement saying the decision to evacuate the Pyongyang outpost was made because "restrictions on entry to the country have made it impossible to rotate our staff and sustain the operation of the Embassy." The statement said London intends to reestablish its presence in Pyongyang as soon as possible.
North Korea closed its borders and imposed strict quarantine measures on all resident foreigners at the start of the pandemic, prompting many countries to withdraw their ambassadors and shutter their missions.