The death of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong Un has festered diplomatic relations between two Asian nations after Pyongyang ordered the banning of all Malaysian citizens from leaving North Korea.
In an immediate response, Malaysia, speaking through its Prime Minister Najib Razak called on North Korea to immediately release all its citizens and also instructed the police “to prevent all North Korean citizens in Malaysia from leaving the country until we are assured of the safety and security of all Malaysians in North Korea”.
“This abhorrent act, effectively holding our citizens hostage, is in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms,” Najib said in a statement, adding that he has summoned an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.
While giving reasons for the banning of Malaysian citizens from leaving Pyongyang, North Korean foreign ministry notified the Malaysian embassy in Pyongyang saying it is hoped that the move would help develop bilateral ties between both countries.
“All Malaysian nationals in the DPRK will be temporarily prohibited from leaving the country until the incident that happened in Malaysia is properly solved,” the official Korea Central News Agency said on Tuesday, citing the foreign ministry.
North Korea has denied any role in the killing of Kim who was poisoned at the Kuala Lumpur airport by two female agents on the 13th February, accusing Malaysia of conspiring with its enemies while it also rejected a Malaysian autopsy that found Kim was killed with VX, a banned chemical weapon.
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