7 March 2017

Malaysia’s ambassador to North Korea, Mohamad Nizan Mohamad, who was declared persona non grata (PNG) by the North Korean government, is presently in Malaysia.

Malaysian Foreign Ministry spokesman Raja Nushirwan Zainal Abidin said the ambassador, who was recalled two weeks ago for consultations, was still in Kuala Lumpur.

“Yes it is true that our ambassador has been declared PNG. This reciprocal action is normal in diplomacy.

“It should be noted that the Malaysian ambassador has been recalled by the government. He is presently in Malaysia and has been in Malaysia for sometime now.”

North Korean Central News Agency yesterday reported that country has designated the Malaysian ambassador to the country as “persona non grata” and demanded the envoy leave the country within 48 hours from 10am on Sunday.

Foreign Ministry secretary-general Datuk Ramlan Ibrahim said declaring Mohamad Nizan as PNG was the right of North Korea.

“It is their right, just as we declared the North Korean Ambassador as PNG. This is a practice of diplomacy, reciprocal treatment.”

Asked whether the government was prepared to consider bringing home nine other embassy employees still in North Korea, Ramlan said the matter was still under discussion and depended on the circumstances.

Malaysia also condemned North Korea’s firing of four ballistic missiles and urged the country to end such provocative action.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement the action had fuelled regional tensions and again demonstrated North Korea’s disregard for the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula, the region and the world in general.

“DPRK (Demoractic People’s Republic of North Korea) has again manifested its rejection of calls by the international community to cease its ballistic missile launches.”

The ministry said the launching of these missiles were flagrant violations of multiple UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and seriously undermined the global nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.

“Malaysia urges the DPRK to end all ballistic missile launches and, of paramount importance, to conform to all UNSC resolutions concerning the DPRK.”

Earlier in the day, North Korea fired four missiles from its western coast towards the Sea of Japan. According to the Japanese government, they flew about 1,000km, with three of them falling in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Separately, North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia Kang Chol, who was declared PNG by the Malaysian government, has left the country following the expulsion order on him.

He left yesterday from the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 6.35pm on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH360 to Beijing.

Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman on Saturday had announced that the Malaysian Government had declared Kang Chol as PNG and gave him 48 hours from 6pm on March 4 to leave the country.

In making the announcement, Anifah said Malaysia would act firmly against any insult to the country or any any attempt to tarnish its image.

He had said Kang Chol had made wild and baseless claims about Kuala Lumpur in connection with the investigations into the murder of North Korean national Kim Chol at klia2 on Feb 13.

The death of Kim Chol, widely reported to be Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has received worldwide media attention.

It was reported that Jong-nam was waiting for his flight to Macau at klia2 on Feb 13 when two women suddenly wiped his face with a liquid – which was later identified as the VX nerve agent.

Jong-nam reportedly sought help at a customer service counter at the airport and was rushed to Putrajaya Hospital but died on the way. He had used a passport bearing the name Kim Chol.

Two foreign women, Siti Aisyah, 25, an Indonesian, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, a Vietnamese, were charged at the Sepang Sessions Court last Wednesday with murdering him.

Original Source: www.therakyatpost.com