Deputy minister: Malaysia-N. Korea ties will never be the same

BY KAMLES KUMAR
File picture showing North Korean Ambassador Kang Chol speaking during a news conference at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur February 20, 2017. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — The bilateral ties between Malaysia and North Korea has been tainted by the events following the alleged assassination of a man believed to be Kim Jong-nam, the deputy foreign minister said today.

Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the relationship has been affected by the accusations made by North Korean ambassador Kang Chol claiming the Malaysian government’s involvement in the murder.

“Relationship has already been affected, it won’t be the same,” he told reporters when met at the sidelines of Parliament today.

The Kepala Batas MP also said Malaysia will only decide on the next course of action after the 48-hour deadline for Kang to clear out from the country has expired.

“At the moment we have already said it clearly, we will wait for the next course. Let us not pre-empt what is going to happen

“To me, it matters most that it is done professionally. We give them 48 hours, we will wait till that,” Reezal added.

Putrajaya on Saturday declared Kang as persona non grata, or “person not appreciated”, and gave him 48 hours to leave the country. The deadline expires at 6pm today.

This was after the embassy had released several statements condemning Malaysia’s handling of Kim’s murder and blamed the government of being involved.