Kuala Lumpur: Nine Malaysians who were stranded in North Korea following a diplomatic stand-off post the assassination of Kim Jong -Un’s half brother Kim Jong- Nam, have arrived in Kuala Lumpur.
A diplomatic row ensued between between Malaysia and North Korea after Jong- Nam was killed with the lethal nerve agent VX on February 13 at Kuala Lampur airport, triggering the expulsion of each other’s ambassadors and a bar on their citizens from leaving.
However North Korean state media on Thursday said both countries would lift their respective travel bans, and Kuala Lumpur would send the body of Jong-Nam to North Korea.
Singapore’s daily Strait Times quoted Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, as saying that the investigation into the murder of Jong-Nam would continue “to bring the perpetrators to justice”.
“There can be no substitute for diplomacy, for level-headedness in dealing with such situations, and this has served Malaysia well in this instance,” he said.
On Friday, following the deal, Malaysian Prime Miniter Mohammad Najib Tun Razak declared, through Twitter, that the “diplomatic crisis is over”.
“Following the completion of the autopsy on the deceased and receipt of a letter from his family requesting the remains be returned to North Korea, the coroner has approved the release of the body,” Prime Minister Najib said in a statement.
South Korea has blamed Pyongyang for the assassination, and Kuala Lumpur has sought several North Koreans for questioning, although the only one it arrested was released for lack of evidence.
However, Pyongyang has denied this and denounced Malaysia’s investigation as an attempt to smear the secretive regime.
So far, two women – one Indonesian and one Vietnamese – have been detained, along with a North Korean man. Seven other North Koreans have been named as suspects or are wanted for questioning.