Tuesday March 7, 2017
11:39 AM GMT+8

UPDATED:
March 07, 2017
03:04 PM GMT+8

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Malaysian police seal off access into and out of the North Korean embassy in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur after the government imposed a ban on its diplomats from leaving the country on March 7, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaMalaysian police seal off access into and out of the North Korean embassy in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur after the government imposed a ban on its diplomats from leaving the country on March 7, 2017. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — All North Korean embassy officials are barred from leaving Malaysia with immediate effect.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi made the announcement today in an immediate reaction to Pyongyang’s ban against Malaysians from leaving North Korea.

“As a response to foreign minister of North Korea, the Home Ministry via Immigration has released an immediate ruling that not one officer in Malaysia is to leave the country.

“This is effective immediately to all exits of immigration nationwide,” he told a news conference here.

Ahmad Zahid also said the Cabinet will meet this Friday and discuss if it is to sever all ties with North Korea.

 

 

He reiterated that Malaysia will not tolerate being accused of a murder conspiracy without proof.

“We have no intent to take any reciprocating action. But after this has been done by a country with diplomatic ties with Malaysia outside of the normal conventions of bilateral relationships, Malaysia is forced to take a similar action as they have manipulated the murder case here.

“We want to send a clear message, ‘Don’t point fingers at us and don’t look down upon Malaysia as (a) sovereign nation,” he said.

Deputy Foreign Minister confirmed separately that 11 Malaysians are currently stranded in North Korea after its government imposed a ban on them leaving the country.

Among them are two Malaysians with the UN Food Programme, three embassy staff and their six family members.

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