CYBERJAYA, March 7 — The Cabinet is likely to discuss Malaysia’s trade relations with North Korea at its meeting this Friday following rising tension between the two countries, said Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
Ong, when met after opening the T-Sytems Malaysia Innovation Centre T-Hub here today, said: “I think it (the Cabinet) will make a decision on this (trade).”
Media agencies reported that North Korea barred Malaysians from leaving the country, trigerring tit-for-tat action by Malaysia.
Diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea soured following the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at the KL International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Feb 13.
It was reported that Jong-nam was waiting for his flight to Macau at KLIA2 on Feb 13 when two women suddenly wiped his face with a liquid which was later identified as the VX nerve agent.
Last week, International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, said no trade embargo has been imposed on Malaysian companies keen on doing business with North Korean companies or in the country.
Ong said at this point of time, Malaysia’s trade with North Korea was ‘still as it is’.
“So at this moment things are still as it is or trading is still as it is unless the Cabinet makes a new decision,” he said.
Asked if there are many investments by Malaysian companies in North Korea, Ong replied: “Not really!”
“North Korea, we (Malaysia) only have some trading relationships. They bought our palm oil and raw materials. That’s it. We don’t have a factory there,” he said.
On North Korean investments in Malaysia, he said: “Not much. They (North Korean) are only traders, they only come to buy our raw materials.” — Bernama