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|Kim Yu Song (center) counselor at the North Korean embassy in Malaysia, reads out a statement outside the embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, Mar 21, 2021. (Photo: AP)|
The staff of North Korea's embassy vacated its premises in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday (March 21). . Kim Yu Song, the chargé d’affaires and councilor in Kuala Lumpur, said Malaysia had “committed an unpardonable crime.” Echoing Pyongyang’s earlier statement, he accused Malaysia of being subservient to the U.S. and being part of a U.S. conspiracy aimed at “isolating and suffocating” his country.
North Korean counselor Kim Yu Song said that the Malaysian government will bear the consequences of what had transpired. "This incident is an outright product of an anti-DPRK conspiracy created from a heinous policy by the United States, " he said, using the North's official name of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Straits Times cited.
Kim added that the incident "deprived the state of its sovereignty" and added that the Malaysian authorities are "blindly gaining favor" with the US. "The Malaysian authorities deliver our citizen to the US, thus destroying the entire foundation of our bilateral relations".
|Kim Yu Song, the counselor at the North Korean Embassy to Malaysia, carries his luggage onto a bus at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Sunday, March 21, 2021. (Photo: AP)|
The North Korean flag and embassy signage were removed from the premise in a Kuala Lumpur suburb. Two buses ferried the diplomats and their families to the airport, where they were seen checking in for a flight to Shanghai.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the expulsion was in response to Pyongyang’s “unilateral and utterly irresponsible decision” on Friday to sever diplomatic ties. “This action is a reminder that Malaysia shall never tolerate any attempt to meddle in our internal affairs and judiciary, disrespect our governance system and constantly create unnecessary tensions in defiance of the rules-based international order,” he said in a statement.
Ties between North Korea and Malaysia have been virtually frozen since the 2017 assassination of a North Korean man at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Two days after Kuala Lumpur extradited a North Korean man to the U.S. to face money laundering charges, a furious North Korea on Friday announced it was terminating ties with Malaysia. Malaysia denounced the decision and in a tit-for-tat response, gave North Korean diplomats 48 hours to leave, according to Washington Post.
|A bus carrying staff of the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur leaves the embassy compound on Sunday, Mar 21, 2021. (Photo: AP)|
Malaysian officials never officially accused North Korea of involvement in Kim Jong Nam’s death, but prosecutors made it clear throughout the trial that they suspected a North Korean connection, said Channel News Asia.
North Korea denied the victim was Kim Jong Nam and disputed it had any role in the man’s death. Longtime North Korea watchers believe Kim Jong Un ordered his brother’s killing as part of efforts to remove potential rivals and cement his grip on power.
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