KUALA LUMPUR: Japan's Ambassador to Malaysia on Thursday (Nov 30) called on Putrajaya to join Tokyo in exerting pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile provocations.
Speaking at a news conference on the sidelines of the Malaysia Nikkei Business Forum 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Ambassador Makio Miyagawa said Malaysia should join Japan in exerting pressure on North Korea so that "they (North Korea) would stop such illicit acts".
Miyagawa was responding to a query from Channel NewsAsia on concerns about North Korea's "breakthrough" intercontinental ballistic missile test on Wednesday that puts the US mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.
"If we draw a 1,000km radius with KL at the centre, Bangkok, Jakarta and Kota Kinabalu are outside the circle.
"But if you draw the same size circle with Hiroshima at the centre, Pyongyang ... Vladivostok ... and a large number of Chinese cities are within the circle," said Miyagawa, illustrating that Japan is "very close" to nuclear possessors, particularly North Korea.
"They have been shooting their missiles without getting any approval and some have already flown over our territory. Can you imagine that many missiles flying over Malaysia without any approval from the Malaysian government?" he added.
In expressing hope that Malaysia will join Japan in exerting pressure on North Korea so that they would stop such illicit acts, Miyagawa said: "Countries around the world are expecting many nations to join in this undertaking, so that North Korea will become a proper and good member of the international community."
Last September, Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs banned citizens from travelling to North Korea until further notice. In October, Malaysia halted all imports from North Korea as part of global efforts to cut off funding over its nuclear and missile programmes.
Prior to this, Malaysia had been a key source of revenue for North Korea. Citizens from both countries enjoyed visa-free travel and Malaysia was host to hundreds of North Korean overseas workers.