|Australia cancels visit by Pyongyang delegation over nuke test
Australia said Thursday it had cancelled a diplomatic visit by North Korean officials after the secretive state sparked international fury with a third nuclear test.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr said a delegation from Pyongyang scheduled to visit Canberra this weekend for talks regarding the reopening of North Korea's embassy had been put off until a later date in protest at Tuesday's underground blast, AFP reports.
"We postponed the arrival of North Korean diplomats in Australia as a gesture following this detonation,'' Carr told a parliamentary hearing.
"They were due to arrive this weekend.''
However, Carr said Canberra remained committed to talks on reopening the embassy, which was shuttered in 2008, apparently due to financial constraints.
"We still adhere to the view that there's value in having a North Korean diplomatic presence here,'' he said.
"In particular so we can speak directly about these concerns for peace and security and stability in East Asia, and second so we can convey to them directly our concern about human rights in North Korea.''
Carr announced Pyongyang's hopes of reopening its Australian post last month following young leader Kim Jong-Un's urging of a "radical turnabout'' in the impoverished country's economy.