N. Korea & Malaysia slap exit bans on each other’s citizens

Mar 07, 2017, 5:38 AM EST
A member of the youth wing of Malaysia's ruling coalition protests at the North Korea embassy, following the murder of Kim Jong-nam.
(Source: Góc Chung Cư Blog/flickr)

The diplomatic ties between North Korea and Malaysia hit a new low on Tuesday as the two nations imposed exit bans on each other’s citizens amid a growing rift over the assassination of Kim Jong-nam. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak strongly condemned the North’s “abhorrent act” of holding his citizens hostage, while assuring that he would take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of Malaysians.

Over the past two weeks, the two countries have been locked in furious verbal and diplomatic exchanges, which also involves expelling each other's ambassadors, notes the BBC. Livid with an ongoing probe in Jong-nam’s killing, North Korea has dismissed allegations of its involvement in the case and has claimed Kim’s body, which Malaysia says will be released only after the investigation is complete.

North Korea has accused Malaysia of disregarding international law by conducting an autopsy on a diplomatic passport holder and withholding the body, writes The Guardian.  The North’s K.C.N.A. news agency claimed that Malaysia has colluded with South Korea in hatching a “sinister” plot against the country.