Tuesday, North Korea issued a temporary ban on Malaysians leaving the country in order to ensure the safety of its own diplomats and citizens in Malaysia, following the murder of King Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea leader, Kim Jong Un.
King Jong-nam was murdered at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13 by assassins using VX nerve agent, a chemical listed by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.
Reacting swiftly to the ban, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak condemned North Korea's action as hostage-taking and responded by barring all North Koreans from leaving it own country.
'This abhorrent act, effectively holding our citizens hostage, is in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms.'
He added saying that police have been instructed 'to prevent all North Korean citizens in Malaysia from leaving the country until we are assured of the safety and security of all Malaysians in North Korea'.
According to a Malaysian foreign ministry official, there are 11 Malaysians in North Korea, including three embassy staff, six family members, and two others.While hundreds of North Koreans are believed to be in Malaysia, most of them students and workers in the country.