Countries With Whom the US Has No Diplomatic Relations

The United States and North Korea do not maintain diplomatic relations.
The United States and North Korea do not maintain diplomatic relations.

The US has many diplomatic relations all over the world. Such relations include all of the UN member states apart from Syria, North Korea, Bhutan, and Iran. The US also has diplomatic relations with Kosovo, the Holy See, and the European Union. The US federal statutes relating to foreign relations are derived in title 22 of the US Code. There are only four countries in the world who hold no diplomatic ties with the United States.

4. Syria

Diplomatic relations between the US and Syria have officially been nonexistent since 2012 due to the Syrian Civil War. Key issues between the two nations are the Iraq War, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Golan Heights annexation. According to the US Global Leadership Report of 2012, a poll conducted during the Syrian civil war deduced that 29% of the Syrian population approves of the US leadership, 31% of Syrians are uncertain, and 40% of the population disapproves.

3. North Korea

The relationship between North Korea and the US has been hostile since the time of the Korean War. However, in recent years, the hostility has increased due to North Korea's creation of long-range missiles which have the capability of hitting targets that are thousands of miles away. There are constant threats to strike both South Korea and the US by using conventional and nuclear weapons. In addition, North Korea's five tests of nuclear weapons have largely attributed to the hostility between the two nations. During the presidency of George W. Bush, North Korea was designated part of "The Axis of Evil". The reference was made because of the threats made by North Korea and its nuclear capabilities. As the US has no formal diplomatic relations with North Korea, Sweden serves as the protecting power for the US regarding consular matters pertaining to North Korea. Since the time of the Korean War, the US has established a tenacious military presence in South Korea.

2. Iran

The US has no formal diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Instead of swapping ambassadors, the US has maintained contact through a corresponding interests section through the Swiss Embassy situated in Tehran since 1980. Iran has maintained an interests section at the Pakistani Embassy located in Washington, DC. Both the US and Iran decided to cut diplomatic ties in 1980 with the agreement of creating "interest sections". The US and Iran each picked a third country as a protecting power in their capital. The country had to have friendly relations with both nations. Initially, Algeria served as the protecting power for Iran in the US. However, following the expressed support for the Islamic Salvation Front by the Iranian leaders, Algeria terminated its service as its protecting power in January 1992. Pakistan stepped up two months later agreeing to serve as the nation's protecting power in the US.

1. Bhutan

The US has no diplomatic relations with Bhutan. However, the US still maintains informal connections via its embassy which is located in New Delhi, India. The US has volunteered to relocate about 60,000 of the 107,000 of the supposed Bhutanese refugees. The refugees are believed to be of Nepalese origins who are now residing in the seven UN refugee camps situated in the southeastern region of Nepal.


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