Malaysia expels North Korea ambassador over Kim murder

Kim Jong-Nam was poisoned February 13 with deadly nerve agent VX. North Korea has not acknowledged the dead man's identity but has repeatedly disparaged the murder investigation, accusing Malaysia of conniving with its enemies.

Malaysia expels North Korea ambassador over Kim murder

World Bulletin / News Desk

Malaysia has expelled North Korea's ambassador, giving him 48 hours to leave the country in a major break in diplomatic relations over the airport assassination of the half-brother of Pyongyang's leader.

"The ambassador has been declared persona non grata" after Malaysia demanded but did not receive an apology for Pyongyang's attacks on the investigation, Malaysia's Foreign Minister Anifah Haji Aman said.

"Malaysia will react strongly against any insults made against it or any attempt to tarnish its reputation," he said in a statement released late Saturday.

Ambassador Kang Chol failed to present himself at the ministry when summoned and "is expected to leave Malaysia within 48 hours," the statement added.

On Sunday morning, media besieged Pyongyang's embassy, from where Kang is expected to depart before the expulsion deadline expires 6pm on Monday.

Arch-rival South Korea has blamed the North for the murder, citing what they say was a standing order from leader Kim Jong-Un to kill his exiled half-brother who may have been seen as a potential rival.

The foreign ministry said the expulsion is "part of the process by the Malaysian government to review its relations" with North Korea, which before Kim's assassination were unusually cosy.

"North Korea must learn to respect other countries," Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Sunday.

The expulsion shows "we are serious about solving this problem and we do not want it to be manipulated," he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Mart 2017, 09:30