KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysian government’s decision to expel North Korean Ambassador Kang Chol was made based on the principle of defending the country’s integrity and sovereignty, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the action was to make clear that no one or quarters could simply make a fool or insult Malaysia.
“It’s a decision made based on principle, meaning, we are a sovereign country and anyone sent to Malaysia should respect our country.
“And, if an individual made baseless accusation, then the person has to apologise and retract the statement,” he told reporters after the opening of the first meeting of the fifth term of the 13th Parliament by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Parliament today.
Najib was responding to the government’s decision in declaring the North Korean envoy persona non grata.
Kang Chol was reported to have made baseless accusations against Kuala Lumpur concerning investigations on the murder of North Korean Kim Chol last Feb 13.
Questioned on relations between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang after this, the prime minister said: “We will see, we will take one step at a time”.
Last Saturday, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman declared Kang Chol ‘Persona Non Grata’ and gave him 48 hours to leave the country.
Prior to that, the Malaysian government announced that citizens of North Korea are required to apply for visa to enter the country, effective March 6.
Kim Chol, widely reported to be Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was at the KL International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13 to board a flight to Macau when two women suddenly appeared before him.
The women allegedly wiped his face with their hands which were laced with what was later identified as the VX nerve agent.
He was rushed to a hospital, but died on the way. – BERNAMA