Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Malaysia

Newsline: Malaysian police enter North Korean embassy

Malaysian police on Sunday entered the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur in connection with last month’s murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un, according to China Press, a Malaysian Chinese-language newspaper. Four police officers, including the investigating officer of the murder, the Selangor state police chief and Selangor prosecution team officer, entered the embassy in the morning and were there for two and a half hours, the China Press said, adding they were granted permission by the embassy to enter. The entry indicates that a preliminary agreement may have been reached on processing the body of Kim Jong-nam, and on the recording of statements of three suspected accomplices in the murder believed to be hiding in the embassy, according to the report. One of the three is Hyon Kwang-song, 44, the second secretary of the embassy. Malaysian officials indicated that talks with North Korea on thorny affairs plaguing bilateral relations following murder could wrap up “very soon.” The remarks follow reports Saturday that former North Korean ambassador to the United Nations Ri Tong-il has returned to the Malaysian capital.


Newsline: North Korean suspect in Jong-nam’s murder is son of ex-envoy to Vietnam

A North Korean suspect in the killing of Kim Jong-nam is reportedly the son of a former top North Korean envoy to Vietnam, and he allegedly lured a Vietnamese female suspect to join the plot to kill the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader. Ri Ji Hyon, 33, is the son of former North Korean ambassador to Hanoi, Ri Hong, and had lived in Vietnam for about 10 years, Yonhap news agency quoted sources as saying on Wednesday. Ji Hyon worked as a trainee diplomat at the North Korean embassy for more than one year and he also worked as an interpreter, according to the sources. Using his fluent Vietnamese, he lured Doan Thi Huong into the plot to kill Jong-nam while the latter was waiting to board a flight to Macau at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Feb 13, according to Yonhap. The Vietnamese woman and Indonesian Siti Aisyah allegedly smeared banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent on Jong-nam’s face. They have been charged with murder but they claim they were told that the act was a prank on a reality show. Ji Hyon is among four North Korean suspects who left Malaysia on the day Jong-nam was murdered and they are believed to have returned to Pyongyang. Interpol has issued a red notice to track down and arrest them.


Newsline: Dying Interest By Media To Camp Outside North Korean Embassy in Malaysia

Scenes of local and foreign pressmen waiting outside the North Korean embassy to catch embassy officials for comments related to the murder of Kim Jong-nam is slowly diminishing. Pressmen feel there is no reason to wait outside the embassy because none of the embassy staff or its spokesman Ri Tong-il had issued any statements or talked to the media since Feb 18.


Newsline: Malaysian diplomat recalled over nasty Facebook remarks

A Malaysian diplomat has been transferred back after he allegedly made insulting remarks following the death of Tan Sri Adenan Satem, while several other people have been arrested for similar offences. It is understood the officer, who was based in the Philippines, had posted comments on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s Facebook page after the death of the Sarawak Chief Minister. In an immediate response, Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said he was aware of the matter. Chief Secretary to the Govern­ment Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, replying on his Twitter account @DrAliHamsa to a message from Puchong Umno Youth (@PPUMPuchong), said that action had been taken against the errant officer. “The officer has been ordered to return to KL immediately for disciplinary action,” Dr Ali tweeted.


Newsline: Myanmar embassy in Malaysia seeks compensation for murdered migrant workers

The Myanmar embassy in Malaysia is seeking to negotiate compensation for the families of five murdered migrant workers, an official said. The men were among a group walking home from a factory in Seri Serdang Industrial Park, a quiet suburb on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, when a knife-wielding gang attacked them on January 5. Four of the men were killed on the spot, while a fifth died of stab wounds in the hospital. Two workers who were in critical condition have since recovered, an embassy official confirmed. “Now, we are negotiating in order to secure a suitable compensation for the families of the victims,” the embassy’s first secretary U Tin Win Aung told The Myanmar Times. He added that the embassy has asked the owner of the electronics factory where the victims had worked to ensure the protection of the other 25 Myanmar labourers employed there. Following the attack, the government said it sent out a safety warning to Myanmar citizens in Malaysia.


Newsline: China’s embassy in Malaysia probes forced beggars case

China’s embassy in Malaysia is investigating a report that its citizens are abducted and maimed before being brought to Malaysia to beg professionally. According to crienglish.com, quoting the Beijing Youth Daily, an unnamed official from the Consular Office of China’s embassy here said cases of people from China begging and wandering in Malaysia was not new. He said the embassy always took “measures” once such cases were specifically identified. However, the report quoted him as saying, when one criminal gang was destroyed, new gangs came up to replace them. The official said these cases were mainly handled by Malaysian police and that the embassy could only help its citizens by calling in the police if they knew of such cases, and cooperating with the investigations.

Chinese embassy probes forced beggars case

Newsline: Former Malaysian diplomat in New Zealand blames stress

Former Malaysian Embassy staffer Muhammad Rizalman claims he was stressed at work because of corrupt seniors and says a culture of blaming underlings led to negative assessments of him. The latest revelations are contained in an expert report into Rizalman’s mental fitness, released by the courts today. Rizalman, 39, last week admitted indecently assaulting Wellington woman Tania Billingsley at her flat in May 2014, but he disputes aspects of the Crown case against him. He saw Ms Billingsley, then 21, in Brooklyn and, he said, believed she’d given him a look that gave permission to follow her. He says he wanted to talk about his problems. A sensational disputed facts hearing on Friday heard Rizalman admitted smoking cannabis, buying legal highs and believing in black magic. The Crown questioned him about that, asking if he defecated outside Ms Billingsley’s house because he was trying to cast a love spell on her. Rizalman maintains he suffered from diarrhoea and entered Ms Billingsley’s house to clean himself up, but the Crown says the motive was sexual and he had tried to make moves on other women in the days before too. Rizalman did not admit smoking the legal highs he bought and said at the time of his offending he was suffering from stress because of pressures at work.