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Sunday, March 5, 2017, 09:29

Malaysia expels DPRK ambassador amid row over airport killing

By Xinhua

Malaysia expels DPRK ambassador amid row over airport killing
Kang Chol, DPRK's ambassador to Malaysia, addresses journalists outside DPRK's Embassy in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 20, 2017. (MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP)

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia has declared on Saturday night the ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to the country as "persona non grata" and asked him to leave Malaysia within 48 hours, amid a row over the investigation into a DPRK man's death.

The decision was made after the ambassador, Kang Chol, failed to show up at a meeting after he was summoned by Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the same day, said the Foreign Minister Anifah Aman in a statement, adding no other senior official came to the meeting either.

The DPRK side also failed to make an apology for the accusations Kang has leveled against Malaysia, and there is no sign of a forthcoming one

Malaysian Foreign Minister, Anifah Aman

Anifah said the ministry has sent a diplomatic note to the DPRK embassy on Saturday evening to inform the DPRK government that Kang should leave Malaysia within 48 hours from the scheduled time of the meeting, which should have taken place at 6 pm, March 4, according to the statement.

The expulsion of the ambassador came after Kang and the DPRK government accused the Malaysian side several times of "colluding with hostile forces" in its investigation into the death of the DPRK man on Feb 13 in Kuala Lumpur, and refused to trust the investigation.

Anifah said the DPRK side also failed to make an apology for the accusations Kang has leveled against Malaysia, and there is no sign of a forthcoming one.

Previously, Malaysia has recalled its ambassador in Pyongyang and said it would rescind visa-free entry for DPRK citizens.

These measures are part of the process by Malaysian government to review its relations with the DPRK, according to the statement.

Malaysia also defended its impartiality in the investigation, citing the release of Ri Jong Chol, a DPRK man arrested as a suspect following the killing.

Ri was deported back to DPRK on Friday and during his transit stay in Beijing, he accused the Malaysian police of coercing him to confess his crime.

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