‘Malaysia should seek help from UN to resolve crisis’
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia should seek the United Nations’ support to pressure Pyongyang to release Malaysians “held hostage” in North Korea and to avoid the diplomatic row from escalating, international relations and human rights experts say.
Centre for Human Rights and Advocacy (Centhra) chief executive Azril Mohd Amin said the move to ban Malaysians from leaving North Korea had infringed on the basic right of freedom of movement and possibly threatened the right of life and personal liberty of the affected Malaysians.
He said there was an urgent need for the UN Security Council to convene and resolve the crisis affecting innocent Malaysians, given the hermit kingdom’s blatant disregard for human rights and humanitarian concerns.
“Innocent lives continue to be at risk. The United Nations 2014 Commission of In- quiry report uncov- ered systematic, widespread and grave violations of human rights in North Korea,” he said.
Azril said it would not be surprising if North Korea were to commit further wanton acts of terror, such as extra-judicial executions and summary killings.
“The international community knows full well that the country remains among the world’s most repressive countries, where basic freedoms have been restricted and denied to most of its population, who continue to be brainwashed by unceasing Workers’ Party state propaganda courtesy of the Kim family’s political dynasty,” he told the New Straits
Times yesterday. However, Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia (Isis) senior analyst Shahriman Lockman said it would be irresponsible to seek the use of force and it would be futile to get the UN Security Council to convene.
“Malaysia should seek the support of the United Nations and countries with diplomatic missions in Pyongyang to pressure the North Koreans.
“The UN has, at the very least, a stake in the Malaysians working for them in North Korea.
“Other countries with diplomatic representation in North Korea would recognise that this elevates the risks to their diplomats and citizens in the North,” he said.
Universiti Utara Malaysia International Politics and Asean Relations senior lecturer said the diplomatic row with the reclusive state could only be resolved if both countries were open to diplomatic discussion.
“At the end of the day, this conflict can only be resolved through discussion.
“There are many channels we can use to avoid any escalation of the situation.
“If we (Malaysia) fail to get North Korea to hold a discussion with us, we can still try to talk with their allies, such as China and Russia,” he said yesterday.
“A diplomatic solution is the best way to handle things.”
Azril Mohd Amin