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N. Korea cuts diplomatic ties with Malaysia over extradition of citizen to U.S. Updated: 2021-03-19 15:01:42 KST

Pyeongyang continues to isolate itself from the international community this time by cutting diplomatic ties with Malaysia.
The North's abrupt severance comes in protest of Malaysia's court ruling from March to extradite a North Korean businessman to the U.S. who is facing money laundering charges.
Calling the charges an "absurd fabrication and sheer plot," the regime's state media reported Friday that Washington will also pay for orchestrating the situation.


"It's concerning that this situation may become like the BDA case from 2005 when the North's 24 million U.S. dollars were frozen at Macau's Banco Delta Asia. The North sees Washington as being at the center of destroying its system and structure."

The FBI in 2019 asked Kuala Lumpur to verify the identity of 56-year-old Mun Chol-myung over sanction-evading activities and money laundering charges this at a time when Washington-Pyeongyang ties were frostier than ever following the 2018 no-deal Hanoi Summit.
Though Mun has rejected the charges, claiming that the arrest was politically motivated, the Malaysian court has sided with Washington.
The North's breach of ties comes amid the recent Seoul visit of top U.S. officials from the Biden administration which is yet to announce its new North Korea policy.
Relations between Malaysia and North Korea have been frosty since 2017 when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half brother Kim Jong-nam was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur.
And the North has been unable to improve ties with Malaysia since the pandemic broke out.
Malaysian officials are yet to comment on the latest reports.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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