KUALA LUMPUR: The Prime Minister has called for North Korea to release all Malaysian citizens immediately to avoid any further escalation of the diplomatic row between the two countries.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he condemned in the strongest terms possible, North Korea’s decision to prevent Malaysian citizens from leaving the country, and has summoned an emergency meeting of the National Security Council.
“This abhorrent act, effectively holding our citizens hostage, is in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms.
“As a peace-loving nation, Malaysia is committed to maintaining friendly relations with all countries.
“However, protecting our citizens is my first priority, and we will not hesitate to take all measures necessary when they are threatened,” he said in a statement Tuesday.
“I have also instructed the Inspector-General of Police to prevent all North Korean citizens in Malaysia from leaving the country until we are assured of the safety and security of all Malaysians in North Korea.
“Our hope is for a swift resolution. I call upon the North Korean leadership to immediately allow our citizens to leave to avoid any further escalation,” he said.