PM: We will go by the book when determining future ties with N. Korea

PM: We will go by the book when determining future ties with N. Korea

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will go by the book when determining the future of its diplomatic ties with Pyongyang, after kicking the North Korean ambassador out of the country.

Asked if it was possible that all ties with the reclusive nation will be severed, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia has to wait and see.

“We’ll take it one step at a time,” he told reporters after the opening of the fifth session of the 13th Parliament yesterday.

He said there has been no apology from Pyongyang over its accusations that Malaysia was colluding with its enemies.

“We are not getting anywhere. I am not expecting anything.”

North Korean ambassador Kang Chol had accused Malaysia of, among other things, colluding with South Korea over the investigation into the assassination of Kim Jong-nam on Feb 13.

“Malaysia is a sovereign nation and anyone coming here must obey our laws.

“If they make baseless accusations, they should rightfully apologise and retract the statements.

“But he did not do that, so based on our principles we declared him persona non grata,” said Najib.

He said this course of action was proof that Malaysia was strict when it came to matters affecting its honour and sovereignty.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein echoed Najib’s views, calling the statements by Kang Chol rude.

“Perhaps he sees it as his responsibility to North Korea’s leadership, but we make decisions based on our sovereignty and our laws,” he said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said the bilateral relations would never be the same again in the wake of Jong-nam’s murder.