KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has not started formal negotiations with North Korea over the release of nine Malaysians stranded in Pyongyang, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“When the time comes, we will negotiate formally with North Korea,” he said when asked about the status of negotiations with North Korea at Parliament lobby here on Thursday.
He added, however, that Malaysians there had nothing to worry about.
“We find that our people there are safe. It’s guaranteed and there is nothing to worry,” he told reporters.
The nine Malaysians currently in North Korea were barred from leaving the country after Pyongyang issued a travel ban on Malaysian citizens there last week.
In response, Malaysia issued a similar ban, prohibiting North Koreans from leaving.
Ties between North Korea and Malaysia have been strained following the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 on Feb 13.