Kuwait City: US ally Kuwait has given North Korea's ambassador a month to leave the Gulf state and will downgrade its diplomatic representation with Pyongyang, a senior Kuwaiti diplomat said on Sunday.
North Korea's diplomatic presence in the emirate will also be reduced to a charge d'affaires and three diplomats, the source told AFP, requesting anonymity.
The measures follow a visit less than two weeks ago by Kuwait Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to Washington.
The source said Kuwait will not renew permits given to North Korean workers to re-enter the country after projects they are currently working on are completed "within one or two years".
There are between 2,000 and 2,500 North Korean workers in Kuwait, and thousands more are believed to be working in other Gulf states.
Kuwait has also decided to stop issuing visas to North Koreans and suspend all trade relations and flight links with Pyongyang.
Asian diplomatic sources have told AFP that South Korea and Japan have been putting pressure on Gulf states to stop employing North Korean workers because money they sent home was benefiting the regime.
On Friday, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan and into the Pacific, responding to new UN sanctions with what appeared to be its furthest-ever missile flight amid high tensions over its weapons programme.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned the missile test,
and said talks on the crisis would be held on the sidelines of the General Assembly meeting next week.
US President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-In have pledged "stronger pressure" on Pyongyang, Seoul said Sunday, after North Korea defied tough new sanctions with the test and said it wanted to match American nuclear strength. The UN Security Council will on Thursday hold a ministerial-level
meeting on the threat from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction that will focus on enforcing sanctions on North Korea, diplomats said. The United States called the meeting that will be held during the annual General Assembly gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.
The purpose of the meeting "is to discuss ways the Security Council can better enforce the resolutions
it has adopted to prevent the spread of the world's most dangerous weapons," said a US concept note on the meeting obtained by AFP on Saturday.
The Security Council this week imposed a new raft of sanctions on North Korea, slapping an export ban on textiles, freezing work permits to North Korean guest workers and placing a cap on oil supplies.
The impact of those sanctions depends largely on whether China, North Korea's ally and main economic partner, will fully implement them and on Russia, which is hosting tens of thousands of North Korean workers.
During the council meeting, countries will address ways to stem missile and nuclear technology to "the world's most dangerous actors," the note said.
UN ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Sunday that the UN Security Council has run out of options on containing North Korea's nuclear programme and the United States may have to turn the matter over to the Pentagon.
"We have pretty much exhausted all the things that we can do at the Security Council at this point," Haley told CNN's "State of the Union," adding that she was perfectly happy to hand the matter to Defense Secretary James Mattis.