Najib: Malaysia will not cut diplomatic ties with N Korea
The hostage crisis issue is closed and Malaysia will not cut diplomatic ties with North Korea, said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
However, he said North Korea should never resort to unlawful action and go against international law and convention again, in an apparent reference to the assassination of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia, widely believed to have been ordered by the rogue regime, the Star reported.
"From the time negotiations began with North Korea, I made it very clear to our negotiators on two issues - that our nine hostages must come back safely, and that the sovereignty of Malaysia cannot be questioned by any quarter.
"Both conditions have been met, and that's the crux of the matter," he said, while in India on a visit.
Mr Najib said the North Korean side had at first made demands that could not be met, and even contacted the Malaysian side in the wee hours of the morning.
Declining to reveal what the demands were, he said Malaysia held firm to its stand that the two North Korean suspects holed up in the embassy - second secretary Hyon Kwang-song and Air Koryo employee Kim Uk-il - must be questioned and investigated by police before they could be released.
"We have achieved that objective.
"This is what is required by the law,'' he said, confirming that the North Korean duo were allowed to leave Malaysia.
Both conditions have been met, and that's the crux of the matter.Malaysian PM Najib Razak
Asked whether he had at any time contacted the top North Korean leadership over the crisis, Mr Najib said he had only been in touch with the Malaysian hostages and the others involved, reported the Star.
Earlier yesterday, the military flight crew which transported the Malaysians stranded in North Korea back homesaid they pretended to be commercial pilots to ensure their safety, New Straits Times reported.
Pilot Lieutenant-colonel Hasrizan Kamis said that the Royal Malaysian Air Force crew, which consisted of one other pilot, two co-pilots and two quartermasters, were all clad in casual attire instead of their uniforms.
"We received the order (for the rescue mission) on Monday.
"However, we were only able to take off from the Subang air base, en route to Pyongyang, on a Bombardier Global Express business jet at around 10.30am on Thursday.
"It was a mixed feeling, as we did not know what to expect when we reached North Korea.
"However, everything was normal when we arrived there," Lt Col Hasrizan said.