PYONGYANG SHOWS AGAIN ITS DISTRUST OF NAJIB REGIME: WHY DO THE 2 MALAYSIANS WHO LEFT N. KOREA HAVE TO STAY IN BEIJING? CONDITIONAL RELEASE?

The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

KEPALA BATAS – The two United Nations employees who were among 11 Malaysian nationals stranded in North Korea, arrived safely in Beijing yesterday and will reside there for the time being.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican said Stella Lim and Nyanaprakash Muniandy, who are with the UN’s World Food Programme, had reached Beijing and will continue their programme there.

“I’ve spoken to Stella over the phone and I was informed that they will stay in Beijing for the United Nation’s programme there,” he told reporters here today.

He said the duo are UN passport holders and were allowed to leave Pyongyang.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had tweeted on Thursday that the two Malaysians had arrived in Beijing.

Reezal also said that has been in touch with the remaining nine Malaysian in North Korea and all of them were reported to be safe.

He said all the Malaysians in North Korea were reachable and they can continue to enjoy freedom of movement.

“Everyday I will communicate with them (Malaysians) in North Korea and there is no threat whatsoever against them and they are free to move about as usual. When I spoke to Stella, she reported the same thing to me too,” he said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican — Bernama

He added that the next-of-kin of the Malaysians had been briefed about their situation.

Reezal said the government will continue to work for the release of the remaining Malaysians in Pyongyang.

“Our priority now is to bring them home swiftly and safely,” he said.

He also urged the media not to sensationalise the issue as the government is working tirelessly to resolve the tensions between the two nations.

It was reported that North Korea on Tuesday had barred Malaysians from leaving the country, sparking similar action by Malaysia, as tensions escalated over police investigations into the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 on Feb 13.

— Bernama

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