KL: All nuclear powers must denuclearise

Malaysia's Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said on the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue yesterday that the country is hopeful for a good outcome for the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Malaysia's Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said on the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue yesterday that the country is hopeful for a good outcome for the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Malaysia's Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said yesterday that his country supports the move to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, but that all the nuclear powers should be stripped of their nuclear arsenal in the future.

Malaysia is also hopeful for a good outcome for the June 12 summit in Singapore between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Mr Mohamad said in a media interview on the sidelines of the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue security conference.

"Malaysia is fully supportive of any commitment towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. The problem is why only Korea? Why only Iran?

"Why not America, China, Russia, India, Pakistan? So that is monopoly.

"We hope that denuclearisation must be (for) all."

He said that it was "dangerous for the world" to have the US or North Korea threatening each other with their nuclear weapons.

He described the Trump-Kim summit as a good start towards denuclearisation.

"Whether the meeting will be successful or not, that is another matter, than the fact they would even meet," said Mr Mohamad, who was sworn in as Defence Minister two weeks ago.

He is attending the Shangri-La Dialogue for the first time and has been meeting his regional and international counterparts.

Mr Mohamad met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday and they reaffirmed the close bilateral relations and extensive cooperation between Malaysia and Singapore.

They also discussed continuing defence cooperation between both countries.

Mr Mohamad will also call on Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean.

Asked on the state of bilateral ties with Singapore, Mr Mohamad said: "We have good relations. We have joint exercises and joint operations. Our military ties are at a high level."

He said he was surprised at being recognised in Singapore, including by people who rushed to shake his hand and take pictures when he went for Friday prayers at Sultan Mosque.

"In Singapore I didn't expect this, but they actually follow political developments in Malaysia," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 03, 2018, with the headline 'KL: All nuclear powers must denuclearise'. Print Edition | Subscribe