Take care of ours, we'll take care of yours, Zahid tells N. Korea

SIM BAK HENG

KUALA TERENGGANU: Malaysia will care for the North Koreans currently barred from leaving the country as long as North Korea continue to look after the interest of the nine Malaysians there, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

As Home Minister, he said it is his duty to ensure the safety of the remaining nine in North Korea, as well as peace in Malaysia.

“It is unprecedented that such an assassination took place in our country,” he said, referring to the murder of Kim Jong-nam, which took place at klia2 on Feb 13.

“We have to be firm but careful in all our actions. It is crucial to defend our sovereignty and at the same time secure the safe return of our people.

“While negotiations are going on, I have to be careful with my words. However, I would like to urge the people to be united at this time,” he said, when launching the Umno Kuala Terengganu branch meeting here this evening.

Malaysia and North Korea have been embroiled in a diplomatic spat after Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed by a deadly VX nerve agent.

The incident had sparked a diplomatic stand-off, as both countries slapped travel bans on each other’s citizens, and expelled the other’s ambassadors.