dpa/GNA – North Korea said it will cut off diplomatic ties with Malaysia over the extradition of one of its citizens to the United States to face money laundering charges, state media reported on Friday.
It also warned that Washington would “pay a due price” for the decision last week in Malaysia’s top court to reject the North Korean businessmen’s appeal challenging the extradition request from the US, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, as cited by South Korea’s Yonhap agency.
North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “with regard to the grave situation that has prevailed” it was announcing “total severance of the diplomatic relations with Malaysia.”
The statement also called the relationship between Pyongyang and Washington “the most hostile one on this planet.”
Mun Chol-myong, who had been living in Malaysia, was accused of supplying prohibited luxury items from Singapore to Pyongyang and laundering funds in violation of UN sanctions, Yonhap reported.
North Korea claimed that he was engaged in “legitimate external trade activities.”
The reported extradition comes as the US continues attempts to establish contact with North Korea.
This week a top North Korean official vowed to ignore these attempts until Washington has met Pyongyang’s conditions, indicating any movement on the debate about its nuclear weapons programme in particular remains a long way away.