Zahid: N. Korean embassy staff in Msia barred from leaving country

ADRIAN LAI


KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry has barred North Korean embassy officers and staff in Malaysia from leaving the country, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said this was in response to Pyongyang’s decision to ban all Malaysian citizens from leaving North Korea.

“The Home Ministry, through the Immigration Department, has issued an immediate order that officers or staff from the North Korean embassy are not allowed to leave the country,” Zahid told reporters at the Parliament building here.

Zahid said regular North Koreans were free to leave the country if they wished to.

He said the order was issued to all entry and exit points nationwide.

“We don’t wish to do this but this is what we have to do when a country with whom Malaysia has diplomatic ties does something that is out of diplomatic norms.

“Malaysia has to take action because they (North Korea) have manipulated the murder case that occurred at klia2,” he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican confirmed that 11 Malaysians were currently residing in North Korea.

He said the Malaysians were in safe condition, and that the government would issue an official statement on the situation soon.