FROM ‘SACK ENVOY FOR INSULTING US’ TO ‘LET’S DISCUSS & MAINTAIN DIPLOMATIC TIES’: ZAHID STOPS UMNO-STYLE SABRE-RATTLING AFTER RASH ACTIONS TRIGGER HOSTAGE CRISIS

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s diplomatic spat with North Korea is unlikely to escalate into armed conflict, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

He added that government officials are currently in talks with a North Korean delegation here to reach an “amicable” solution to resolve their disagreements, triggered by the “high profile” death of Kim Jong-nam, and which has left 11 Malaysians stranded in Pyongyang.

“The delegation is here in town. Wisma Putra will be discussing with them on matters pertaining to resolving the matter amicably,” he told reporters here.

He believes North Korea too does not want discord with Malaysia as their citizens are similarly stranded here, after Putrajaya forbid them from leaving in a tit-for-tat move.

“Depending on [the] threat, I believe they will act rationally. What is important is to maintain diplomatic relationship with them,” he said.

“What is important is the security of our citizens in North Korea and I think they are also worried about the security of their citizens in Malaysia,” he added.

But the deputy prime minister also said whether or not Malaysia will move into high alert will depend on what happens next.

– Malay Mail

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