KUALA LUMPUR: North Korea's decision to sever diplomatic ties with Malaysia has not affected the country's economy, said Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz on Saturday (Mar 20).
According to the minister, it is because North Korea's contribution to the Malaysia's economy is currently very small.
"I don't think there is any impact, because it was a small contribution," he told reporters after attending a meeting with several entrepreneurs.
North Korea on Friday said it would sever diplomatic relations with Malaysia after a court there ruled that a North Korean man could be extradited to the United States to face money laundering charges.
READ: North Korea says it will sever ties with Malaysia over extradition of 'innocent citizen' to US
A statement from the foreign ministry carried on state news wire KCNA said that Malaysian authorities "committed an unpardonable crime ... of forcibly delivering the innocent citizen (of North Korea) to the United States".
North Korea's foreign ministry "hereby announces total severance of the diplomatic relations with Malaysia", the statement added, slamming what it called a "hostile act" committed against Pyongyang "in subservience to the US pressure".
Malaysia's foreign ministry responded later in the day, denouncing North Korea's decision and described the move as "unfriendly and unconstructive".
In a statement, the ministry said Malaysia would close its embassy in Pyongyang in response and would order all diplomatic staff and their dependants at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur to leave the country within 48 hours.