Govt to discuss status of Malaysian embassy in Pyongyang


PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says discussions will be held on the need to send an envoy to North Korea, and the status of the Malaysian embassy in Pyongyang.

“I will discuss (the matter) with Prime Minister (Najib Razak) and Foreign Minister (Anifah Aman),” he said when met by reporters after opening the International Conference on Human Ecology 2017 here today.

Zahid, who is also home minister, was asked whether the government would be sending an envoy to the reclusive state.

On Feb 22, Wisma Putra recalled the Malaysian ambassador to North Korea, Mohamad Nizan Mohamad, following tensions between the two countries after the Feb 13 murder of Kim Jong Nam at klia2.

Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was murdered by two women using the VX nerve agent while awaiting a flight to Macau.

Diplomatic tension arose when North Korea’s ambassador Kang Chol criticised Malaysia’s handling of the case, resulting in Malaysia declaring him persona non grata.

Kang left Kuala Lumpur on March 6 and North Korea responded in kind by declaring Malaysia’s ambassador persona non grata as well.

On March 7, Pyongyang barred Malaysian nationals from leaving the country. Kuala Lumpur, in a tit-for-tat move, also prohibited North Koreans from leaving Malaysia.

The nine Malaysians returned home safely on March 31.