KUALA LUMPUR: North Korean ambassador Kang Chol has lost his diplomatic status in the eyes of Malaysia and has to comply with the order to leave the country.
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said Kang would be deported if he failed to leave by 6pm today.
“If Kang decides to hide at the North Korean embassy here, he would not be able to do so indefinitely.
“The North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur is a sovereign territory for their citizens, (so) enforcement officers cannot enter without permission. If we do, it would be tantamount to an act of war.
“He will not be able to hide in the embassy forever. It is better that he surrenders voluntarily to the Immigration Department so that he can be sent back,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
On whether it was possible that enforcement officers would go after Kang should he remain in Malaysia, Nur Jazlan said: “I think he will leave.”
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman had, on Saturday, declared Kang persona non grata and gave him 48 hours to leave the country after failing to meet the ministry’s deputy secretary-general for bilateral affairs, Raja Nushirwan Zainal Abidin.
He also revealed that Wisma Putra’s officials had met a high-level North Korean delegation last Tuesday during which the Malaysian government demanded a written apology from North Korea for the accusations thrown at it by Kang.
The demand was for the letter to be handed in by 10pm that day, but after four days, no such apology was forthcoming.
Late Saturday evening, Wisma Putra issued a statement declaring Kang persona non grata and giving him until 6pm today to leave the country.
Kang had levelled several accusations at Malaysia following the murder of Kim Jong-nam on Feb 13. Among them was that Malaysia was colluding with countries hostile to North Korea, such as South Korea and the United States.
He had also said that Malaysian police could not be trusted to carry out Jong-nam’s murder investigation and that the government was in violation of international diplomatic laws.