Asia - Pacific

North Korea cuts ties with Malaysia in extradition row

Pyongyang says extradition of North Korean citizen from Malaysia to US "an unpardonable crime"

Islamuddin Sajid  | 19.03.2021 - Update : 19.03.2021
North Korea cuts ties with Malaysia in extradition row


North Korea Friday announced “total severance” of diplomatic ties with Malaysia over the extradition of its citizen to the US.

A statement by North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said the decision was taken after Malaysia “committed an unpardonable crime... of forcibly delivering the innocent citizen of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] to the United States” on March 17, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported.

“With regard to the grave situation that has prevailed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK hereby announces total severance of the diplomatic relations with Malaysia.”

Malaysian authorities arrested the North Korean citizen in December 2019 on charges of laundering money through front companies and issuing fraudulent documents to support illegal shipments to North Korea.

The country’s federal court approved his extradition to the US last week, despite Pyongyang’s assertions that the charges were an “absurd fabrication” and that the man had been engaged in “legitimate trade activities in Singapore.”

The Foreign Ministry statement said Kuala Lumpur acted against Pyongyang “in subservience” to Washington’s pressure, adding that Malaysia “will bear full responsibility for all the consequences to be incurred between the two countries.”

“This incident made by the Malaysian authority constitutes an undisguised alignment with and direct engagement in the anti-DPRK hostile maneuvers of the United States which seeks to deprive our state of its sovereignty and rights to existence and development,” read the statement.

Terming the US “the backstage manipulator and main culprit of this incident,” North Korea said Washington “will also be made to pay a due price.”

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