KUALA LUMPUR: The clock is ticking and North Korean ambassador Kang Chol has barely six hours to leave the country.
Journalists and cameramen, who have been keeping watch outside the North Korean embassy’s main entrance, have aimed their lenses at the building’s main door hoping to capture the moment Kang leaves the place he has worked at for nearly three years.
On Saturday, Wisma Putra informed the North Korean Embassy that Kang must leave Malaysia by Monday, March 6.
The move came after the ambassador, who was summoned to Wisma Putra at 6pm Saturday, failed to turn up.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said the Malaysian Government had demanded a written apology from North Korea for the ambassador’s recent accusations against the country over Kim Jong-nam’s assassination.
That demand, he said, had been made during a meeting between Wisma Putra officials and a high-level delegation led by former North Korean ambassador to the United Nations Ri Tong-il who arrived on Feb 28.
Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) departure hall on Feb 13, with what Malaysian police said was VX nerve agent.
On March 1, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah were charged with the murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code that carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.
Neither recorded a plea, and April 13 has been fixed for mention.
North Korea has criticised Malaysia’s handling of the case, with diplomatic tension escalating between the two countries.
On March 2, Malaysia announced that North Koreans would no longer enjoy visa-free travel to the country from March 6 onwards.