A Malaysian police officer cordons off the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday amid a bitter diplomatic dispute between the two countries over the poisoning death of leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother. | AP
North Korea and Malaysia said Tuesday they have temporarily prohibited each other’s nationals from leaving their countries, as their once-amicable relations further sour following the Feb. 13 murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader.
Local media also reported that Malaysia’s Cabinet will discuss Friday whether to close the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, underscoring that their cozy ties of more than 40 years have become mired in hostility.
North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday it has temporarily banned all Malaysians from departing the country until the issue of the death of one of its citizens in Kuala Lumpur last month is settled in a fair manner.
Pyongyang has not acknowledged that the man killed in an apparent attack with the VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport was Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong Un. The North has instead referred to him as Kim Chol, the name that appeared on a diplomatic passport he was traveling with.
The announcement carried by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said the prohibition will be kept in place until the safety of its diplomats and citizens in Malaysia is fully guaranteed through a “fair settlement of the case.”
It said North Korea has already informed the Malaysian Embassy in Pyongyang of its decision.
A Malaysian Foreign Ministry official told reporters that at least 11 people, including three embassy staff, their family members and two U.N. staff, are currently staying in North Korea, while no tourists are currently in the reclusive country.
Source By http://www.japantimes.co.jp