Family members of M'sians in N. Korea to meet with Foreign Minister

ARFA YUNUS


KUALA LUMPUR: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman is scheduled to meet with family members of Malaysians currently stranded in North Korea.

The meeting will discuss the travel ban imposed by North Korea on all Malaysians in the country.

The discussion is expected to be held at 3.30pm at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) here today.

Pyongyang announced last week that all Malaysians currently in North Korea are barred from leaving the country until “the incident that happened in Malaysia is properly solved."

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, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 13.

North Korea had previously demanded that Jong-nam’s body be returned to the country, as he was a North Korean national. Malaysia denied the request.

In the murder’s aftermath, North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, openly criticised Malaysia’s investigation into the incident, which sparked diplomatic tension between the two countries.

Kang also accused Malaysia of being in cahoots with North Korea’s “enemies.”

The envoy was subsequently declared persona non grata on March 4 and given 48 hours to leave the country. The move was made after he failed to turn up at Wisma Putra on March 4, despite having been summoned.