Malaysia to negotiate for the release of 11 Malaysians in North Korea

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said on Tuesday that Malaysia will negotiate with North Korea to secure the release of its 11 citizens trapped in the communist state, New Straits Times reported on Wednesday.

Although the 11 Malaysians are not being kept against their will and that they are free to go out and conduct their activities normally, Najib said there is no reason why we should worry about their safety.

Najib who chaired a meeting of the Nationall Security Council over the issue on Tuesday said Malaysia would look into the possible demands of North Korea.

He also said the NSC wanted the police to continue investigating Kim Jong-nam’s murder as well as verify his identity.

Meanwhile, Najib also defended the Home Ministry’s decision to bar North Korea diplomatic staff from leaving Malaysia, saying this would leave the door for negotiations open.

We have our ways of negotiating with the North Koreans. Our priority now is to ensure the safety of our Malaysians here. As the case is sensitive and involves the security of our Malaysians, any form of negotiations will not be revealed to the media, said Najib.

The prime minister went on saying that Malaysia has no intention to pick a fight with North Korea. But when a murder is committed and especially if chemical weapons are used we are duty-bound to protect the interests of our nation, he added.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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