Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for March 9, 2017

Newsline: Silence At The North Korean Embassy in Malaysia

A sullen silence has swept over the North Korean Embassy here today, despite heavy media presence outside its gates. Activity on the inside of the embassy seems to be still, despite one or two vehicles seen leaving the premises. Today marks the 23rd day since Kim Jong-nam, the step brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, was murdered while waiting to catch a flight to Macau at klia2. Since then, diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea has been set on a knife edge, with the latter blaming Malaysia’s wrongly in handling the case and for conspiring with its enemies. North Korean officials here, however, are keeping mum. Some armed and regular policemen were stationed outside the embassy but they made no attempt to stop anyone from leaving and entering the embassy. Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan said on Tuesday that the embassy will be sealed till authorities have physically identified those dwelling in the premises. IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar also said yesterday that at least two suspects in the nerve agent murder of Kim Jong-nam are holed up in North Korea’s barricaded embassy in Kuala Lumpur and police would wait as long as necessary to arrest them. Malaysia also said it would keep its embassy open in Pyongyang and not sever diplomatic ties with North Korea to resolve their diplomatic stand- off peacefully.



Newsline: Next US ambassador to Russia named

Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman accepted the offer of US President Donald Trump to become the next US ambassador to Russia. On Wednesday, US media reported citing sources in the administration that Huntsman was offered a diplomatic position in Russia. Huntsman, who has been described by one of the sources as a “brilliant guy” and a “tough” person and the one who could understand Trump’s policy, has accepted the proposal of the president, the CNN broadcaster said, citing senior administration officials. Apart from being the governor of Utah in 2005-2009, the official used to serve as country’s ambassador to Singapore and China in 1992-1993 and 2009-2011, respectively.