Malaysian embassy staff and families faced no harassment in North Korea

Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain, counsellor at Malaysia's embassy in Pyongyang, hugs members of his family as he returns home from Pyongyang, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain, counsellor at Malaysia's embassy in Pyongyang, hugs members of his family as he returns home from Pyongyang, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEPANG (BERNAMA) - The Malaysian embassy staff who returned from Pyongyang with their families on Friday (March 31) said they did not face any harassment in North Korea and thanked Prime Minister Najib Razak for bringing them home.

The nine Malaysians were barred from leaving North Korea amid a diplomatic spat between the two countries after the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on Feb 13.

Embassy counsellor Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain said during the travel ban, Pyongyang authorities did not harass them and their life continued as usual.

But the Malaysians were concerned about the ban issued by the North Korean authorities since they had committed no wrong.

"But we know that we have to keep our spirit up. I must admit that most of us were concerned that our parents and close family members are worried about us," he told reporters after arriving from Pyongyang at the Bunga Raya Complex, Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

 
 

He said because of the travel ban, they could not travel to Beijing to stock up their supplies.

"As you may be aware, every month we travel to Beijing to transfer money in euros and buy food," he said.

Mohd Nor Azrin said the ban did not prevent them from communicating through telephone and WhatsApp with their families in Malaysia, which he said was comforting.

"Since we were instructed to submit daily reports to Wisma Putra, that was also comforting as we knew that our welfare was consistently monitored by our Foreign Ministry," he said.

He said they were also thankful to other embassies in Pyongyang, which were generous in helping them, especially in bringing food and other supplies.

"I must single out the Asean countries that helped us - Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, as well as Pakistan, Poland and Sweden," he added.

 

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