Malaysia is working through diplomatic channels to guarantee the safety of Malaysian citizens currently trapped in North Korea. Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Nur Jazlan Mohamed said he has been informed that Malaysian embassy staff in Pyongyang have been barred from leaving the embassy. “We are also trying to physically locate the other Malaysians who are in Pyongyang. “We are concerned over their safety. We don’t want anything to happen to them, they could be held hostages. “We are trying to work through the diplomatic channel to guarantee their safety in North Korea,” he told reporters outside the North Korean embassy here today. Asked on the identities of the Malaysians in North Korea, Nur Jazlan said they comprised embassy staff, tourists and those doing business there. The minister was also asked on whether the high-level North Korean delegation to Malaysia would be allowed to leave the country. “The order was just issued this morning so we are working on the details. It is fluid and things will change,” he replied. He said North Koreans at the embassy may be allowed to leave after the ministry determines the exact number of staff at the premises. “We will ensure that our relationship with North Korea will not escalate to a serious level,” he said. The embassy was earlier cordoned off by police following Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s announcement that Malaysia has barred North Korea’s diplomatic staff from leaving the country.
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Newsline: Malaysian diplomatic staff in Pyongyang barred from leaving embassy