North Korea cuts ties with Malaysia over US extradition – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-03-19 04:55:11 –

Seoul, South Korea (AP) — North Korea announced on Friday that it has terminated diplomatic relations with Malaysia.

Seoul, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said on Friday that it had terminated diplomatic relations with Malaysia over the decision to hand over a suspected North Korean criminal to the United States. This is the latest development in growing hostility between Washington and Pyongyang as North Korea puts pressure on the Biden administration over nuclear standoffs.

North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the allegations of money laundering against men were “absurd fabrications and (a) pure conspiracy” organized by “the main enemy of our country.” The statement said Malaysia “submitted to US pressure … committed a very large-scale hostilities,” and the US “paid a fair price.”

Since North Korea has a history of moving away from threats, it is unclear whether and when to withdraw diplomats from Malaysia.

Relations between North Korea and Malaysia have been virtually frozen since the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in 2017. Observers believe that there are currently no Malaysian diplomats in North Korea. According to the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the North Korean embassy is headed by Chargé d’Affaires Kim Yu-sung and six other staff members.

“Yes, we’re shutting down. We’re currently discussing plans with the staff here and in contact with the government,” Kim was reported to have said the Newstraights Times.

Malaysia has long been an important economic hub for North Korea, dealing with trade in Southeast Asia, labor exports, and some illegal businesses. Experts say North Korea is taking a strict stance on extradition because it sees it as a pressure tactic against North Korea.

Professor Nam Sung-wook said, “North Korea will have a nervous war with the Biden administration within the next four years, so we should not retreat (beyond delivery), so we are taking a tough stance. I’m taking. ” At Korea University.

Mr Nam said North Korea is also likely concerned that other incidents involving the North Korean people could occur in other Southeast Asian countries.

Hong Min, a senior analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, threatened to cut off relations with Malaysia, raising anger at the Biden administration without jeopardizing the final return to nuclear negotiations with Washington. He said it was one of North Korea’s most powerful options to express.

North Korea claims it will not be involved in negotiations with Washington unless it abandons what it considers to be a “hostile” policy. But experts say North Korea will eventually try to return to diplomacy to find ways to get easing sanctions and help its dying economy.

Earlier this month, the Malaysian Supreme Court ruled that North Korea’s Mun Chul Myung could be handed over and rejected his claim that the US accusation was a political motive. Mun has lived in Malaysia for 10 years and was arrested in May 2019 after US authorities demanded his surrender.

In his affidavit, Mun denied US accusations of supplying luxury goods from Singapore to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions. He denied that he had laundered money through a front company and issued fraudulent documents to support illegal shipments to his country.

After that ruling, Mun’s family hired a lawyer to challenge the legality of the delivery. Attorney Emile Ezra said Mun’s right to a fair hearing after the court refused to accept the affidavit and an injunction to suspend his surrender were central.

A North Korean statement said Mun had been sent to the United States. Ezra said police had not answered his question and could not confirm whether Mun was still in Malaysia. He said he was informed by prison on Wednesday that Mun had been handed over to police detention.

Malaysian Interior Ministry officials were not immediately asked for comment.

North Korea and Malaysia established diplomatic relations in 1973, but the murder of Kim Jong Nam in 2017 drastically reduced their relations.

Two Indonesian and Vietnamese women have been charged with colluding with four North Koreans to smear their faces with VX nerve agents and kill Kim Jong Nam. On the day Kim died, four North Koreans fled Malaysia. The woman was later released.

Malaysian officials have never officially accused North Korea of ​​being involved in Kim’s death, but prosecutors have revealed through a trial that they suspect a relationship with North Korea. North Korea denied that the victim was Kim Jong-nam and argued that it played a role in the death of the man.

According to a South Korean spy service, North Korea has been trying to kill Kim Jong-nam for several years, but after the attempted assassination, he has sent a letter to Kim Jong-un begging for the lives of himself and his family. Long-time North Korean observers believe that Kim Jong Un ordered the killing of his brother as part of an effort to eliminate potential rivals and consolidate power.

In the mean of diplomats, Malaysia abandoned North Korean visa-free entry and expelled the North Korean ambassador before North Korea banned all Malaysians from leaving the country.

To break diplomatic relations, countries must formally close embassies, withdraw diplomats and liquidate local property. “But if North Korea takes no action, their diplomatic relations will be maintained. Lee Jae-hyun, an analyst at the Asan Policy Institute in Seoul, said why Malaysia is catching up with the threat. He said he wouldn’t ask if he didn’t.


Ng was reported from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Associated Press writer Kim Tong-hyun contributed to this report.

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