Spain has condemned the successive nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches carried out by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in violation of the corresponding resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

The DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic programmes breach the regime of nuclear non-proliferation and represent a serious threat to peace in the region and to global security.

The constant demands from the international community for the DPRK to renounce these programmes and start talks that lead to the complete, irreversible and verifiable nuclear disarmament of the Korean Peninsula have been met by a continuous challenge from its authorities, whose actions have caused increased international tension and represent a serious risk of conflict.

As such the Embassy of the DPRK has been warned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation that the continuation of these actions would have consequences on bilateral relations. The Ambassador of the DPRK was summoned and the position of the Government of Spain was reiterated to him. He was notified of the decision to consider him a persona non grata, informing him that he must leave his post and the country by the end of the month.

The Spanish government, in announcing the move, follows similar steps by Mexico, Peru and Kuwait.

Meanwhile, the US hailed Madrid’s decision to expel the North Korean ambassador and called on other countries to take similarly decisive actions to apply the “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang.

A Department of State official, requesting anonymity, said that the US “praises the Spanish government’s decision to take this step to increase the pressure on the North Korean regime”.