ENVOY LEAVES WITH HEAD IN THE AIR: NAJIB REGIME IN TATTERS, UNABLE TO SHAKE OFF ‘UNTRUSTWORTHY’ ‘UNPROFESSIONAL’ LABELS AS LAWYERS OF SUSPECTS DEMAND 2ND AUTOPSY

Expelled North Korean ambassador Kang Chol unleashed another salvo from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) where he is expected to board a flight to Beijing at 6.25pm.

“I express grave concern over the extreme measures taken by the Malaysian government, (which is) doing great harm to bilateral relations of more than 40 years,” he told reporters via an interpreter.

Kang also defended his previous remarks which drew flak from Putrajaya, and once again suggested that police investigations into the murder of Kim Jong-nam have not been impartial.

“The statement I made is an expression of the righteous stand as the ambassador of the DPRK in this country on this pre-targetted investigation by the Malaysian police as they have conducted an autopsy without the consent of the DPRK embassy and later arrested an DPRK citizen without any clear evidence,” he added.

Kang Chol was escorted by some 15 policemen and trailed by a large number of journalists, both local and foreign.

Tempers flared as journalists jostled to get closer, resulting in vulgarities being hurled and one broken microphone.

According to the police, Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was attacked with VX nerve agent at KLIA 2 on Feb 13.

Two women have since been charged with the murder. One of them is a Vietnamese national, and the other, an Indonesian citizen.

A North Korean, who was also arrested, was deported last week.

Earlier at about 4pm, Kang Chol was spotted leaving the embassy in Kuala Lumpur in a black Jaguar with his wife.

Two police patrol cars escorted the ambassador’s vehicle while his luggage was earlier transported in a white Toyota Alphard.

Some 30 minutes before, North Korean embassy counsellor Kim Yu-song left the premises in a black Mercedes-Benz.

Several police officers had cordoned the area in front of the embassy’s gate about 2.20pm.

On Saturday, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman declared Kang as “persona non grata” (person not appreciated ) and ordered him to leave Malaysia.

The expulsion of the ambassador followed the decision of the Malaysian government that effective today, March 6, North Korean citizens must apply for a visa to enter Malaysia.

Kang had on Feb 18 accused Malaysia of a biased investigation into the murder of Jong-nam and accused Putrajaya of colluding with outside powers to defame North Korea.

He repeated the allegations on Feb 20. The North Korean embassy then reiterated the claims on Feb 22.

EXPELLED FOR ACCUSING NAJIB REGIME OF UNPROFESSIONAL & UNTRUSTWORTHY PROBE, ENVOY TO LEAVE KL THIS EVENING

MEANWHILE, according to The Star:

North Korean ambassador Kang Chol, who has been declared persona non grata by the Malaysian Government, left the embassy premises here at 3.50pm Monday.

Accompanied by an unidentified woman, he quickly boarded his official vehicle, a Jaguar, and left under police escort, believed to be heading to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Just before he left, embassy staff could be seen loading luggage into the car.

Reporters tried to run after his car but lost him after it gained speed.

Kang Chol was declared persona non grata on March 4 and given 48 hours to leave the country. That deadline expires at about 6pm today.

This came after he failed to turn up at Wisma Putra on March 4, despite having been summoned.

Diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea have soured since the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at KLIA 2 on Feb 13.

Kang Chol led the criticism against Malaysia’s handling of the case, accusing it of being in cahoots with North Korea’s enemies.

Malaysia has since revoked the visa-free status for North Korean visitors travelling here.

– ANN / MKINI

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