Malaysia says all DPRK diplomats expelled as ties severed
The Malaysian government on Sunday expelled all diplomats of the embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) here in response to the latter's decision to sever diplomatic ties.
The expulsion has been carried out in conformity with Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961 and that the Malaysian government was forced to take this action in response to the DPRK's "unilateral and utterly irresponsible decision to sever diplomatic ties with Malaysia," Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said in a statement.
"The action by the Government of Malaysia has become a necessity in order to protect Malaysia's sovereignty and safeguard our national interest," he said.
Vehicles carrying the DPRK's diplomatic staff and their families were seen leaving their embassy in Kuala Lumpur in the morning and headed to the airport.
Before leaving the embassy, Charge d'Affaires Kim Yu Song told the media that by extraditing a DPRK citizen to the United States, the Malaysian authority had destroyed the entire foundation of the bilateral relations.
The official Korean Central News Agency reported on Friday that the DPRK has decided to cut diplomatic relations with Malaysia after Malaysia's top court ruled in favor of extraditing a DPRK businessman to the United States to face money laundering charges.
The report said that the DPRK businessman was engaged in "legitimate external trade activities" and warned that the Malaysian authority would "bear full responsibility for all the consequences to be incurred between the two countries."
Malaysia's Foreign Ministry stressed that the extradition of the DPRK national was conducted in accordance with the principles of justice, rule of law and independence of judiciary.
The DPRK citizen was detained by the Malaysian authority in May 2019 pursuant to the provisional arrest warrant issued following allegations of conspiracy to launder money as well as violating United Nations sanctions, the ministry said.