KUALA LUMPUR: The Foreign Ministry has swung into action to secure the release of all Malaysians who are currently in North Korea.
A Wisma Putra source confirmed that there are currently 11 Malaysians in North Korea. Nine are at the Malaysian embassy in Pyongyang, while the remaining two are part of the World Food Programme.
“We are working to get the Malaysians to get out of North Korea. We cannot divulge too much information at the moment,” said the source.
The source said Wisma Putra was in the midst of reaching out to the family members of Malaysians currently in Pyongyang.
“We are also trying to get their details,” said the source.
Earlier today, North Korean media reports stated that all Malaysians currently in North Korea have been barred from leaving the country.
The move, seen by many as effectively holding the Malaysians hostage, comes amid an increasingly heated diplomatic row over the killing of Kim Jong-Nam in Kuala Lumpur.
Pyongyang said the Malaysians would be barred from leaving until the “the incident that happened in Malaysia is properly solved," according to a news report.
In response, the Home Ministry said North Korean embassy staff in Malaysia have also been barred from leaving the country, with immediate effect.