Friday, 22 June 2018 | 02:47 WIB

Malaysia to Reopen Embassy in North Korea

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

KUALA LUMPUR, NNC - Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will reopen its embassy in Pyongyang.

In addition Mahathir also suggested ending the diplomatic row over the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's brother in Kuala Lumpur last year.

"Yes, we will reopen the embassy," Mahathir said in an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review, broadcasted on Monday (6/12/2018) on his way to Japan.

Malaysia's close ties with North Korea plunged badly after Kim Jong-nam was killed at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017 when two women smeared his face with VX nerve compounds, which the United Nations registered as a destructive weapon.

During the trial, ongoing, the women said they were deceived into believing that they were part of the real show and did not know they were carrying poison.

The United States and South Korea said the killing was organized by Pyongyang.

After Kim Jong-nam's death, North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia questioned the legitimacy of a police investigation and insisted that he was an ordinary citizen, who died of a heart attack.

Malaysia then summoned its ambassador to North Korea, banned its citizens from traveling to the North and canceled visa-free entry for North Koreans.

North Korea retaliated with a travel ban for all Malaysians in Pyongyang, trapping three diplomats and six members of his family.

They can fly out after Malaysia agreed to hand over Kim Jong-nam's body and sent three North Koreans, who were wanted for questioning in North Korea.

The Malaysian embassy in Pyongyang has been without officers since April last year and the government was considering permanent closing and moving its services to its representative in Beijing.

In an interview published one day before the summit of Kim Jong-un with US President Donald Trump in Singapore, Mahathir said he hopes both sides are ready to give a reason.

"North Korea is entitled to have interests as much as the United States has its interests for any negotiations," Mahathir said.

"We should not hesitate. When suspicious, then you cannot work with others," he added, as quoted from Antara.