‘OUR PEOPLE ARE SAFE’
THE prime minister says the North Korean government has given an assurance that Malaysians in the country are safe and ‘free to go about their daily lives’. He emphasises that KL will not sever ties with Pyongyang, but focus on negotiations to secure the
TWO MALAYSIAN EMPLOYEES OF UN ALLOWED TO LEAVE I WISH I COULD LISTEN TO HER VOICE RIGHT NOW, SAYS SISTER OF EMBASSY OFFICIAL
THE North Korean government has given its assurance that all Malaysians in that country are safe and able to continue with their daily routines.
In revealing this yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also pledged that the Malaysian government would do “everything possible” to ensure they return home safely.
“Even though they are not allowed to leave the country, the North Korean government has assured us of their safety and they are free to go about their daily lives,” he wrote on Facebook.
Najib posted the update on his Facebook account following a phone conversation with counsellor at the Malaysian embassy in North Korea Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain .
“I would like to update that he (Nor Azrin), his family along with all of the other Malaysians in North Korea are safe, Alhamdulillah.
“The whole of Malaysia is praying for them.”
He stressed that the government would work on reaching the best solution for the issue.
“Let us all pray for the best. I have asked mosques nationwide to perform solat hajat, to pray for the Malaysians in North Korea. May Allah ease our dealings.”
Diplomatic relations between Malaysia and North Korea soured following the high profile murder of Kim Jong-nam at klia2 on Feb 13.
Disparaging remarks made against Malaysia led to the expulsion of the North Korean ambassador here, with Pyongyang responding in like manner.
On Tuesday, the reclusive state took it one step further, barring Malaysians from leaving the country, a move which was reciprocated here.
The Foreign Ministry said 11 Malaysians were in North Korea — nine embassy staff and their family members and two who worked for the United Nations World Food Programme WFP).
The two UN employees, however, were allowed to leave Pyongyang and arrived safely in Beijing yesterday.
Najib, in an earlier Facebook post, said the duo were Stella Lim and Nyanaprakash Muniandy.
In confirming their arrival in Beijing, the UN, in a statement, said: “The staff members are international civil servants and not representatives of their national government.
“They work for WFP’s programmes in (North) Korea.”
Najib had on Wednesday ruled out severing ties with North Korea and said the government would seek to negotiate to secure the release of Malaysian citizens there.
“Diplomatic relations between Malaysia and North Korea will not be severed, as we need to continue communicating with them to find a solution.
“InsyaAllah (God willing), this situation will be resolved and our people who are detained in North Korea will soon be able to return home safely,” he said in a blog post.
Najib, however, had also said the government will remain firm in its approach towards North Korea.
He had said since this was a sensitive issue, he could only disclose that the government was in the process of establishing the reasons and motives behind Pyongyang’s actions.
“We will not relent from our firm approach.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), the emergency National Security Council meeting that I convened upheld our decision not to allow any North Koreans to leave Malaysia.
“This is a sensitive issue. Therefore, the government has decided that all negotiations and discussions will be conducted behind closed doors.” Page 1 pic: Counsellor at the Malaysian embassy in North Korea Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain’s mother-in-law, Maznah Adnan, praying for her daughter and family’s safe return at her home in Sitiawan, Perak, yesterday.
KIM JONG-NAM ASSASSINATION