Malaysia is “looking into all possibilities” to secure the freedom of the nine Malaysians currently stranded in North Korea.
According to a report by The Star Online, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stated as such when asked if the government would consider trading the body of Kim Jong-nam with North Korea in exchange for the safe passage of the Malaysians home.
Formal negotiations between Malaysia and North Korea over the release of the Malaysians began on Monday, Zahid confirmed.
“We are working thoroughly to get them (the nine) out of Pyongyang,” he was quoted as saying by the news portal.
Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed on February 13, when Malaysian police say two women smeared super toxic VX nerve agent on his face at KLIA2.
The murder sparked a diplomatic tit-for-tat between Malaysia and North Korea.
Malaysia refused North Korea’s request to release the body without an autopsy and investigation, and then expelled the North Korean ambassador over his remarks questioning the investigations.
North Korea then banned nine Malaysians — three diplomats and their six family members — from leaving the country, in what Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak described as taking Malaysians “hostage”.
Yesterday, Malaysia said it will deport 50 North Koreans for overstaying their visas, despite its recent ban on North Koreans leaving the country.
Source : @ Malay Mail Online