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Malaysia diffuses N. Korea row to ensure citizen safety

Mar 08, 2017, 5:32 AM EST
Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak Razak earlier described North Korea's exit ban on its citizens as a hostage situation.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Wednesday said there are no plans to cut diplomatic ties with North Korea, an announcement that many viewed as a sign of the leader’s cautious approach to ensure the safety of Malay citizens stuck in the North following tit-for-tat exit bans.

Addressing the parliament, Razak reassured the M.P.s that the three embassy staff, six family members, and two other Malaysians in North Korea are under no threat but the leader refused to specify the measures being taken to bring them back, writes Reuters.

Razak said, “If there's any negotiation, we can't do it through the media.” The two countries, in mid of a diplomatic meltdown following the death of Kim Jong-nam, imposed exit bans on each other’s citizens on Tuesday, notes News18. Razak earlier described the North’s ban as an “abhorrent act” and likened the action to a hostage situation.