Prime Minister Najib Razak strongly condemned in the strongest possible terms North Korea’s decision to prevent Malaysian citizens from leaving the country and also called Pyongyang to immediately release them.
Taking a swipe against the Pyongyang’s order, Najib said “This abhorrent act, effectively holding our citizens hostage, is in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms.”
“As a peace-loving nation, Malaysia is committed to maintaining friendly relations with all countries.
“However, protecting our citizens is my first priority, and we will not hesitate to take all measures necessary when they are threatened.” Najib said via a press statement.
Najib has also summoned an emergency meeting of the National Security Council as well as instructing the Inspector General of Police to prevent all North Korean citizens in Malaysia from leaving the country until we are assured of the safety and security of all Malaysians in North Korea.
He hoped for a swift resolution and call upon the North Korean leadership to immediately allow our citizens to leave to avoid any further escalation.
Earlier today, Pyongyang banned all Malaysian citizens from leaving North Korea potentially holding them hostage amid an increasingly heated diplomatic row over the killing of Kim Jong-Nam in Kuala Lumpur last month.
In response, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi issued an order to ban North Korean diplomatic officials leaving its embassy in Kuala Lumpur.