KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — Malaysia will count on its international allies if the diplomatic situation with North Korea goes south, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.
The defence minister said Malaysia may not have enough military assets compared to Pyongyang if the two countries went to war, but it has other ways to counter the reclusive state which has nuclear weapons in its arsenal.
“We will deal with it when the time comes, but don’t think we are only dependent on our own assets,” the minister told the press at the Parliament lobby.
Hishammuddin said Malaysia has its own allies thanks to cordial bilateral relationships with many countries, pointing at the help it received from 26 countries during the search for the missing flight MH370.
“We can’t fight a country like North Korea that focuses so much on the defence assets but we have our advantages which will allow us to move forward in any possibility but it’s better if we don’t get there,” he said.
Hishammuddin also ruled out the chances of a war happening as negotiations between Malaysia and North Korea are going well.
“There have been negotiations and I believe the negotiations have gone well. To this point I don’t think it would lead to war,” he said.
This comes as Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday a third country’s involvement is not required in resolving the issue over the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother Kim Jong-nam.
Last week, Malay Mail Online reported experts as saying that North Korea’s decision to prohibit Malaysians from leaving the country will not likely lead to war or armed attacks against Malaysia.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said Malaysia will not cut off its diplomatic ties with North Korea just yet, while his deputy Ahmad Zahid pledged an “amicable” solution to the stand-off.