PPBM: Putrajaya must form team to negotiate release of Malaysians in North Korea

Malay Mail Online

PETALING JAYA, March 8 ― Malaysia needs to act swiftly to set up a team to broker the release of the 11 Malaysians stuck in North Korea, Opposition party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia said today.

PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged the federal government to be “extra cautious” in dealing with North Korea as the safety of the Malaysians are of “paramount importance” now.

“All avenues of negotiation must be activated. We must quickly establish a credible negotiating team to secure our citizens who are held in North Korea. This must be in place already,” he told reporters here.

North Korea yesterday announced that Malaysians there will be temporarily barred from leaving the country, causing Malaysia to impose a similar travel ban on all North Koreans here.

This follows the souring of Malaysia and North Korea’s ties in the weeks after the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam here.

Muhyiddin today urged Putrajaya to exercise great restraint and wisdom when engaging with North Korea, saying: “Statements that will only further fuel the anger on both sides and endanger the 11 Malaysians must be avoided at all costs.

“Efforts must be made to ensure that this diplomatic row will not trigger a regional crisis inviting bigger and more serious implications,” he added.

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