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N. Korean diplomats leave Malaysia as ties are severed Updated: 2021-03-22 17:00:57 KST

North Korean diplomats and their families vacated the North's embassy in Malaysia on Sunday just two days after the two countries announced the end of their ties.
Before heading to the airport for their flights to Shanghai, a North Korean official insisted the incident was the result of an "anti-Pyeongyang conspiracy" laid out by Washington.

"This incident is an out-and-out product of anti-DPRK conspiracy created from the heinous policy of the hostility by the United States by isolating and suffocating our country and the pro-U.S. subservience by the Malaysian authorities."

Observers point out that the North's warning against Washington shows that it sees the case as an extension of the U.S.' hostile policies against the regime.

"Relating this situation with its structure and dignity, the North also believes Washington will increase its pressure against Pyeongyang. The North is going for that 'an eye for an eye' move."

The dramatic severance of ties comes in protest of Malaysia's court ruling earlier this month to extradite a North Korean businessman to the U.S. on money laundering charges.
In response to Pyeongyang's decision to cut ties, Malaysia ordered North Korean officials to leave the country within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, according to the Associated Press, the North Korean man who the extradition order relates to, Mun Chol-myong, was taken into FBI custody on Saturday. This makes him the first North Korean to be extradited to the U.S.
While Malaysia claims its extradition had been done according to law, Mun has argued that the arrest was politically motivated.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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