Malaysia Warns N.Korea Against Hostage Games

  • By O Youn-hee

    March 14, 2017 12:01

    Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak warned North Korea on Sunday "not to toy with" his country, calling on the North to ensure the safety of nine Malaysians stranded in the rogue state.

    Razak made the comments at a hospital opening in Kelantan state, according to Malaysia's Sin Chew Daily. "Respect us and make sure our people are safe," Razak said, and vowed to ensure their safety.

    Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein on Monday warned his country has many allies that would rally to its side in the event of war with North Korea, according to the Star daily.

    North Korea has banned all Malaysian citizens from leaving amid a diplomatic spat over the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother, Kim Jong-nam. Malaysia retaliated by banning some 1,000 North Korean, mostly illegal workers earning hard currency for their regime, from leaving until the safety of the Malaysians in the North is assured.

    Two of the North Korean suspects in the assassination remain holed up in the North's embassy in Malaysia. Both countries have expelled their respective ambassadors.

    The Malaysian government has now confirmed the man who was murdered by VX nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur International Airport was Kim Jong-nam. Japan's Kyodo News on Sunday said the Japanese government provided Malaysia with fingerprints of Kim Jong-nam that were obtained when he tried to enter Japan on a false passport in 2001.

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