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North Korean Embassy Officials, Staff Prohibited From Leaving Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia prohibits any officials and staff at the North Korean embassy here from leaving the country in a directive that takes effect immediately.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the measure was taken in response to the directive from North Korea’s Foreign Ministry which
banned Malaysians residing in North Korea from leaving that country.

“The Home Ministry through the Immigration Department has issued the directive with immediate effect that no officers or staff in the North Korean embassy are allowed to leave from all the country’s exit points.

“We don’t intend to have any retaliation but this must be done when a country that has diplomatic relations with Malaysia takes action outside the diplomatic etiquettes and convention,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby here today.

He said Malaysia had to take similar action because they (North Korea) had manipulated the murder case which occurred at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia 2).

According to Ahmad Zahid, the people of that country, including tourists were not subjected to the directive.

“The people of North Korea, there is not problem but (prohibition is for) officials and staff who are at the North Korean embassy. We allow ordinary citizens,” he said.

He said his ministry was also in the process of obtaining information from the Foreign Ministry on the number of Malaysians currently in North Korea.

Malaysia, he said would take action based on the Geneva Convention as a measure to get Malaysian nationals still in that country.

“They cannot direct our citizen not to leave. We will take several actions based on the Geneva convention that jointly signed as countries with diplomatic ties,” he said. – BERNAMA