Malaysia-North Korea relations reach new freezing point

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The formerly friendly relationship between Malaysia and North Korea hit a new low-point after North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia was sent packing as a result of his comments over the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother, after and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said in his first public comments on the case that using a banned nerve agent was “totally unacceptable.”

North Korean ambassador Kang Chol, who was declared a “persona-non-grata” and given an ultimatum until March 6, 6pm to leave the country, reportedly left the embassy premises in Kuala Lumpur on that day and headed to the international airport where he and his family were checking in for a 6.25pm flight to Beijing.

Meanwhile, deported North Korean chemist Ri Jong-chol, who was one of the suspects in the assassination case, is demanding an apology and compensation from Malaysia after claiming to have suffered “painful police questioning” while in custody.

His claims were denied by Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, who labelled them as “nonsense” and insisted that the authorities followed strict standard operating procedure in the murder investigation and that Ri was “treated well”.

 Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak in a televised interview aired on March 5 said the use of nerve agent VX could have killed many more people than just the intended victim and was “totally unacceptable.”

“We have to accept the fact that a crime has been committed in Malaysia,” he said in the interview with Al Arabiya television, adding that “the substance, or the weapon used, is a very, very dangerous chemical weapon, which should not be used at all, because if used in large quantities, many, many people could have been killed, not just one person.”

“So, we must take a serious stand and we are fully determined to get to the truth and prosecute those responsible for what happened,” Razak said.

Malaysia also scrapped its free-visa policy for North Koreans, effective March 6.

The escalating feud was accompanied by North Korea’s provocative launch of four ballistic missiles on the morning of March 6 which landed about 300 kilometers off Japan’s Western coastline.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The formerly friendly relationship between Malaysia and North Korea hit a new low-point after North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia was sent packing as a result of his comments over the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother, after and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said in his first public comments on the case that using a banned nerve agent was “totally unacceptable.”

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The formerly friendly relationship between Malaysia and North Korea hit a new low-point after North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia was sent packing as a result of his comments over the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother, after and Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said in his first public comments on the case that using a banned nerve agent was “totally unacceptable.”

North Korean ambassador Kang Chol, who was declared a “persona-non-grata” and given an ultimatum until March 6, 6pm to leave the country, reportedly left the embassy premises in Kuala Lumpur on that day and headed to the international airport where he and his family were checking in for a 6.25pm flight to Beijing.

Meanwhile, deported North Korean chemist Ri Jong-chol, who was one of the suspects in the assassination case, is demanding an apology and compensation from Malaysia after claiming to have suffered “painful police questioning” while in custody.

His claims were denied by Malaysia’s Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, who labelled them as “nonsense” and insisted that the authorities followed strict standard operating procedure in the murder investigation and that Ri was “treated well”.

 Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak in a televised interview aired on March 5 said the use of nerve agent VX could have killed many more people than just the intended victim and was “totally unacceptable.”

“We have to accept the fact that a crime has been committed in Malaysia,” he said in the interview with Al Arabiya television, adding that “the substance, or the weapon used, is a very, very dangerous chemical weapon, which should not be used at all, because if used in large quantities, many, many people could have been killed, not just one person.”

“So, we must take a serious stand and we are fully determined to get to the truth and prosecute those responsible for what happened,” Razak said.

Malaysia also scrapped its free-visa policy for North Koreans, effective March 6.

The escalating feud was accompanied by North Korea’s provocative launch of four ballistic missiles on the morning of March 6 which landed about 300 kilometers off Japan’s Western coastline.

 

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