PETALING JAYA: More countries have weighed in on Malaysia’s diplomatic row with North Korea, with several praising the country’s handling of the Kim Jong-nam murder probe and its commitment to bring those involved to justice.
Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said North Korea should be encouraged to be more moderate in its actions.
“We have been watching the development there very carefully, not just between North Korea and Malaysia, but also North Korea and its very active launching of missiles in the last few days,” he was quoted as saying by Singapore broadcaster Channel NewsAsia.
“I think that we should encourage North Korea to be more moderate in the actions that it is taking in order to try and preserve peace, stability and security in our region,” said Teo, who is also Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for National Security.
Teo said this to the Singapore media on Wednesday in Jakarta where he attended the Indian Ocean Rim Association Leaders’ Summit.
China’s Ambassador to the United Nations Liu Jieyi, when asked if any action should be taken over the murder of Jong-nam, said his country was still waiting for a clearer picture.
“The investigation is still going on. I think we need to see how the process will lead and what the true situation is,” he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
The permanent representatives of several member countries of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) during its executive council meeting on Tuesday praised Malaysia’s for its handling of the murder investigation.
The countries also condemned the use of the banned VX nerve agent to kill Jong-nam.
The United States representative Kenneth Ward expressed his country’s appreciation for the intensive investigation and its intention to bring those responsible to justice.
“We are all in this together. Any use of chemical weapons, anywhere in the world, is a threat to all of us and a challenge to our shared determination to rid the world of these despicable weapons,” he said in his statement delivered during the meeting.
The OPCW which is based in The Hague, Netherlands, promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) which prohibits the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction.
The VX nerve agent is a chemical weapon listed under Schedule 1 of the CWC.
Malaysia is a signatory to the CWC but North Korea is not.
Canada’s representative Sabine Nolke praised Malaysia’s cooperation with the OPCW in relation to the murder probe.
“We laud Malaysia’s cooperation with the OPCW to date and look forward to additional updates as appropriate,” she said.
Sweden’s representative Per Holmstrom supported the Government’s handling of the probe.
“We join others in welcoming the (OPCW) director-general’s offer of support and in inviting the Malaysian authorities to keep the State Parties apprised of its investigations,” he said.