June 30 (UPI) -- Myanmar says it is complying with international sanctions after ordering the closure of a North Korean restaurant in the country's capital.
The North Korea-run Pyongyang Koryo Restaurant in Yangon has shuttered, and all 21 North Korean nationals affiliated with the restaurant have been ordered to return home, Myanmar said, according to Radio Free Asia.
The restaurant may have been one of the biggest North Korea-run restaurants in Southeast Asia. The building includes a dining room on the first floor and a "VIP room" on the second floor, according to the report.
The restaurant was considered an "upscale" establishment; the North Koreans reportedly paid tens of thousands of dollars per month in rent.
Myanmar has said the restaurant is closing in compliance with United Nations Security Council sanctions Resolution 2397. The country also said it welcomes the U.S.-North Korea summits of 2018 and 2019, as well as the inter-Korea summits that have deescalated tensions on the peninsula.
Myanmar holds traditionally friendly ties with North Korea, but in recent years have actively implemented North Korea sanctions.
In its 2017 U.N. sanctions implementation report, Myanmar had said the government deported Kim Chol Nam, a North Korean diplomat, who was affiliated with Pyongyang's Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation, or KOMID.
Sanctions are being implemented on a global scale, but experts say they fear the embargoes are not being properly enforced, USA Today reported Sunday.
Hugh Griffiths, a former coordinator of the U.N. panel tasked with recording North Korea's secret overseas purchases, said he sees evidence the regime is violating sanctions.
North Korea is banned from purchasing luxury goods, including jewelry, yachts and limousines, but Kim Jong Un rides a black Rolls Royce Phantom limousine.
"If you can smuggle luxury limos into North Korea, which is done by shipping container, that means you can smuggle in smaller components -- dual-use items for ballistic and nuclear programs. ...That's the really worrying thing," Griffiths said, according to the report.