AGODA

Monday, March 6, 2017

North Korea, Malaysia step up dispute over Kim's death

A North Korean embassy staff asks police if they are allowed to leave as police puts a cordon at North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The bitter diplomatic dispute between North Korea and Malaysia over the poisoning death of leader Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother escalated dramatically Tuesday, with Pyongyang saying it had banned Malaysians from leaving North Korea. That was followed quickly by Malaysia saying North Korean embassy staff were barred from leaving its country. Malaysia had already expelled the North Korean ambassador on Monday. (Associated Press/Vincent Thian)
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The bitter diplomatic dispute between North Korea and Malaysia over the poisoning death of leader Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother escalated dramatically Tuesday, with Pyongyang saying it had banned Malaysians from leaving North Korea.
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That was followed quickly by Malaysia saying North Korean embassy staff were barred from leaving its country. Malaysia had already expelled the North Korean ambassador on Monday.
The North's Foreign Ministry told the Malaysian Embassy in Pyongyang that it would temporarily ban the exit of Malaysian citizens now in the North, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.
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It said the exit ban will be valid "until the safety of the diplomats and citizens of [North Korea] in Malaysia’s fully guaranteed through the fair settlement of the case that occurred in Malaysia."
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Malaysia is pursuing several North Korean suspects allegedly involved in the killing, including a diplomat at the North's Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia has not accused the North of being behind the killing of Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport three weeks ago, but South Korean has.
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Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Reezal Marican told reporters at parliament that there are 11 Malaysians in North Korea: Three working at the Malaysian Embassy, two United Nations workers and six family members.
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The North said Malaysian diplomats and citizens "may work and live normally under the same conditions and circumstances as before" during the period of the temporary exit ban.
It also said that the Malaysian ambassador would be expelled, although he has already been recalled to Malaysia.
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Source:
TheJakartaPost