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Pyongyang severs ties with Kuala Lumpur

Posted March. 20, 2021 07:19,   

Updated March. 20, 2021 07:19


North Korea has declared the severance of its diplomatic ties with Malaysia, as the latter handed over to the U.S. a North Korean national who is suspected of having violated sanctions against Pyongyang. The North called the U.S. the “mastermind,” warning of vengeance.

According to the North’s Korean Central News Agency on Friday, Pyongyang’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said that the Malaysian authority labeled a North Korean innocent citizen as criminal on Wednesday and forcefully handed him over to the U.S., committing unforgettable crime, and the North declared the severance of its diplomatic ties with Malaysia.

According to the Malaysian law enforcement authority, the figure who was handed over to Washington is Moon Chol Myong, a North Korean businessman. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation requested the Malaysian government in May 2019 to hand over Moon Chol Myung on the charges that Moon sent luxury goods to Pyongyang, established a paper company and engaged in illegal money laundering in violation of international sanctions against the Stalinist country.

“The North Korea-U.S. relations, which are most hostile in the world, have been technically at war for 70 years, and this is being demonstrated as an undeniable reality,” the North’s foreign ministry said, blasting Washington. “We are warning in advance that the U.S., the mastermind of this incident, should be prepared to pay the price it deserves.”

Ji-Sun Choi aurinko@donga.com