Malaysians say the expulsion of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Ambassador sends a message: Kuala Lumpur won’t be intimidated. It’s the latest escalation in a diplomatic duel over the death of Kim Jong Nam.
CGTN’s Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysians react to expulsion of DPRK envoyMalaysians say the expulsion of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Ambassador sends a message: Kuala Lumpur won't be intimidated.
The DPRK ambassador was flirting with expulsion from the night of February 17, when he unexpectedly walked up to the media outside the hospital morgue where the body of Kim Jong Nam was being held.
Kang Chol said Malaysia should have handed over the body before any autopsy, accused Malaysia of colluding with hostile powers to smear the DPRK, and said his country wouldn’t recognize the results of the autopsy or the investigation.
Three days later, he was summoned to Malaysia’s foreign ministry for a diplomatic dressing down. But within hours, Kang appeared at his embassy and unleashed another angry tirade against Malaysia’s handling of the case.
On February 28, Malaysia warned him to apologize swiftly for his continuing attacks, but with no apology forthcoming, the foreign ministry summoned him.
When he failed to show up, they declared him “persona non grata” on Saturday and gave him 48 hours to leave.
Malaysians universally supported the decision. The DPRK’s embassy remains open for now, but without an ambassador.
Malaysian authorities hope the remaining DPRK officials tone down their rhetoric so that Malaysia doesn’t have to take more drastic action.