Malaysian embassy staff in N. Korea 'sound frightened'

NST ONLINE


KUALA LUMPUR: Attempts to obtain more details on the situation at the Malaysian embassy in Pyongyang proved difficult.

A person, presumably an embassy staff, who answered the call, sounded frightened and was hesitant to talk.

“I’m sorry. I’m not authorised to say anything at the moment,” said the woman, who also declined to reveal her identity.

Earlier today, North Korean declared 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.

Meanwhile, China’s CCTV 13 reported that the Jalur Gemilang and Asean flags at the Malaysian embassy compound in Pyongyang have been lowered to half mast.

Reports also came in of embassy workers burning documents and loading luggage into vehicles soon after Pyongyang expelled Malaysian ambassador to North Korea, Mohamad Nizan Mohamad.