North Korea, Malaysia Continue Disagreements
North Korea, Malaysia continue their dispute following the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong-un. The two countries have barred each other’s citizens from leaving their respective countries. North Korea said the banning of Malaysians from leaving the country would continue until the safety of the diplomats and citizens of North Korea, in Malaysia, is fully guaranteed through the fair settlement of the case of the murder.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said North Korea is reacting in a hostage-taking situation and that Malaysia would immediately respond in kind by banning North Koreans from leaving Malaysia. He said, “this abhorrent act, effectively holding our citizens hostage, is in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms.”
A Thousand North Koreans Working in Malaysia
It is believed that about 1,000 North Koreans are working in Malaysia, according to the Associated Press. Reezal Marican, the Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister told reporters there are 11 workers from his country currently in North Korea. Three of these employees work at the Malaysian embassy, two are workers with the United Nations and six are family members.
The North Koreans are questioning the death of Nam who was waiting for a flight when two women wiped something across his face. Experts believe the poison was most likely made in North Korea. Meanwhile, North Korea has slammed the investigation saying it is biased. The country has demanded that Malaysia turn over the body to North Korea. However, the country has refused to acknowledge that the victim is Kim Jong Nam or any family member of Kim Jong-un. Instead, they refer to the body as Kim Chol. This was the name on the passport of the deceased which he was carrying when he died.