10:12 21 May

Malaysia expels North Korean ambassador

Malaysia on Saturday issued a notice for North Korean Ambassador, Kang Chol to leave the country within 48 hours, after expelling the envoy because of continuous criticism of the local investigations into the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.


Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said Kang had been declared "persona non grata" in Malaysia, after the ambassador failed to turn up for a Saturday meeting with ministry officials to explain his recent statements which belittled Malaysia's efforts in probing the killing of Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.


Aman said Kang's failure to attend the meeting followed a lack of written apology on behalf of North Korea as demanded by the Foreign Ministry previously.


"Pursuant to my instructions, he [Kang] was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to meet with the Deputy Secretary General for Bilateral Affairs of the ministry, today at 6.00 pm [1000GMT].


"However, neither the ambassador nor senior officials of the embassy was in a position to be present at the ministry.


"For this reason, the ministry has via a diplomatic note sent to the embassy this evening, informed the North Korean government that the Malaysian government has declared Kang as Persona Non Grata,"said Aman, adding that Kang was given time to leave the country within 48 hours from 6 p.m. local time.


Persona Non Grata literally means "Person Not Appreciated". A person declared as such by the receiving state is barred from entering or remaining in the country. It is the most serious form of disapproval that a country can apply to foreign diplomats.


Aman said Kang's explusion was part of the government's review of bilateral ties with North Korea, as instructed by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi last week.


"It should be made clear that Malaysia will react strongly against any insults made against it or any attempt to tarnish its reputation," the minister said.


Kang had alleged that the conduct of the investigation into the death of Kim Jong-nam on Feb 13 by two female assassins, indicated that the Malaysian government had something to hide and that Malaysia had colluded with outside powers to defame his country, namely South Korea.


North Korea also remains steadfast in its unverified conclusion that Jong-nam died of a heart attack, and not due to the VX nerve agent as found by the police and health authorities.

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/ 21 May, 2018