Nine Malaysian citizens barred from leaving North Korea have now been allowed to return to Malaysia, according to Prime Minister Najib Razak.
He said they took off from Pyongyang today at 7.45 pm Malaysian time and would land in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow at around 5 am.
“I would like to thank those in the Malaysian government involved in the negotiations, led by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said in a statement tonight.
Najib said he had deep personal concern about the matter and that Malaysia had worked intensively behind the scenes to achieve this successful outcome.
“Many challenges were overcome to ensure the return of our fellow Malaysians. The safety and security of our citizens will always be my first priority,” he said.
Following the development, the prime minister said Malaysia has now allowed North Korean citizens in Malaysia to leave the country.
“In addition, following the completion of the autopsy on the deceased and receipt of a letter from his family requesting the remains be returned to North Korea, the coroner has approved the release of the body,” he said.
Najib said the government believed strongly in the principles of justice and sovereignty. – Bernama