PETALING JAYA, April 1 — Malaysia will maintain diplomatic ties with North Korea and will not close its embassy in Pyongyang, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said Malaysia also hoped that Pyongyang would do likewise.
“We have no desire to sever diplomatic ties with North Korea and we hope North Korea will do the same,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) chairman, told this to reporters after attending MCPF’s 24th annual-general meeting here today.
The diplomatic tensions between Malaysia and North Korea in the last two month eased somewhat when nine Malaysians who were barred from leaving North Korea following the diplomatic row between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang, arrived safely home on Friday.
The tension between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang was triggered following the killing of Kim Jong-nam, 46, the elder brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the KL International Airport 2 (klia2) here on Feb 13.
Ahmad Zahid also explained that Malaysia did not made any trade-offs in saving the nine Malaysians in Pyongyang but it was based on the understanding achieved by both countries.
“This not about a swap, this is about understanding,” he said.
On the status of North Koreans still in Malaysia, Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said the government now allowed them to return to North Korea.
However, North Koreans still in this country were still subject to Immigration regulations, he added. — Bernama