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Venezuela opens embassy in North Korean capital

CARACAS, Venezuela — Authorities in Venezuela say they’ve opened an embassy in North Korea, strengthening relations between the two nations that stretch back decades.

The government of President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas announced Thursday that it has inaugurated the embassy in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

Both countries are under strict financial sanctions from the United States.

Diplomatic relations between Caracas and Pyongyang date back to 1965 and ties intensified when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez took office 1999.

The socialist Maduro has further cultivated the relationship, welcoming the head of North Korea’s parliament, Kim Yong Nam, during a visit to Caracas last year.

Maduro has rebuffed intense political pressure from the United States this year to leave power, backed by international allies such as Cuba, Russia and China.

The Associated Press