Malaysia ready to 'settle problem' with North Korea after Kim Jong Nam killing: PM Mahathir

Malaysia ready to 'settle problem' with North Korea after Kim Jong Nam killing: PM Mahathir

Mahathir in Austria
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad speaking at the International Anti-Corruption Academy on Jan 21, 2019. (Photo: Bernama)

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is ready to resolve its issues with North Korea following the high-profile murder of Kim Jong Nam two years ago, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday (Feb 12). 

Kim, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 when a woman allegedly smeared the nerve agent VX on his face. 

He died on the way to the hospital. 

“We have problem with North Korea following the death of the North Korean here,” said Mahathir, who described ties between both countries as "rocky", reported the New Straits Times. 

“Malaysia will settle its problem with North Korea later,” he added. "On whether we will reopen our embassy, we will settle that problem later.”

The brazen assassination in February 2017 shocked the world and sparked a diplomatic row between Malaysia and North Korea. 

READ: 'My life is in danger,' North Korea leader's half-brother quoted as saying months before poisoning

The Malaysian Embassy in Pyongyang has reportedly not been staffed since April 2017. 

However, in an interview with Nikkei Asian Review last year, Mahathir was quoted saying that Malaysia would reopen its embassy in Pyongyang and might re-establish its relationship with North Korea.

Commenting on the upcoming summit between Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, Mahathir said: “Any attempt by any country to work with Malaysia will be welcomed. What we don’t want to see is confrontation and conflict."

Trump and Kim are due to hold their second meeting in Hanoi on Feb 27 and 28, following the unprecedented Jun 12 summit in Singapore last year.

READ: Why Vietnam for the second Trump-Kim summit?

Source: Agencies/CNA/aa(gs)

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