North Korean embassy plans put on hold

The Gillard Government has stalled plans for North Korea to reestablish a diplomatic presence in Australia in light of the latest nuclear test from the totalitarian state.

Officials from Pyongyang were to arrive in Canberra this weekend to inspect embassy sites, but the trip has been cancelled at the insistence of the Australian Government.

Foreign Minister Bob Carr told a senate estimates hearing on Thursday the planned trip was on hold.

"We postponed the arrival of North Korean diplomats in Australia as a gesture following this detonation," Senator Carr told a Senate estimates hearing.

"They were due to arrive this weekend."

On Tuesday the North Korean military regime conducted an underground nuclear test, which reached higher seismic magnitude than the state's previous tests in 2006 and 2009.

The provocative move has been widely condemned by the United Nations and the diplomatic community.

North Korea first opened an embassy in Canberra in 1974 and Australia opened its mission in Pyongyang early in 1975.

But by the end of 1975, North Korea withdrew its diplomats from Canberra and expelled the Australian diplomats in Pyongyang.

Diplomatic relations between the two nations resumed in 2000 with the North Korean embassy in Canberra reopening in 2002.

It closed, however, in 2008 due to financial pressures.

Before this week's nuclear test, the go-ahead had been given for North Korea to open a new diplomatic mission in Canberra.

The story North Korean embassy plans put on hold first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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