The South Korean foreign ministry has announced that the country recognises Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-led National Assembly, as interim president of Venezuela.
The ministry has explained the decision by citing what they described as a "lack of validity and transparency" in Venezuela's presidential election held in May of last year. The diplomatic body has urged Caracas to hold a "credible" vote under the supervision of "interim president" Juan Guaido.
The political situation in Venezuela remains complicated, with clashes between police and protesters on Venezuela's borders with Colombia and Brazil, leading to 335 people being injured. Reacting to the unrest, the country's Vice President Delcy Rodriguez stated that Caracas would close the border with Brazil and three bridges connecting Colombia and Venezuela, as well as shut the border with neighbouring island nations and suspend air traffic.
The clashes are connected with US humanitarian aid, two convoys of which attempted to cross into Venezuela from Brazil and Colombia over the weekend but were stopped by security forces loyal to President Maduro. The latter views the humanitarian assistance as a pretext for foreign intervention and strongly opposes them, even ordering the closure of the country's borders.
Venezuela's legitimate President Nicolas Maduro has repeatedly said he will not support any presidential election in the country. The president, in particular, suggested that "imperialists" should wait until 2025 for the next presidential vote. In one recent statement, Maduro stressed that he was not going to back down, saying that he "is governing Venezuela and will continue governing it".