KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said his ministry has not received verifiable intelligence that North Korea left behind secret agents and smugglers after withdrawing diplomatically from Malaysia.
He said this when asked to comment on a Daily NK report on the matter.
“I have not received reports from our intelligence, and sometimes they (news reports) are just exaggerating, we don’t know.
“So it’s better if we don’t want to jump to conclusions and offer answers that could make the situation worse,” he said.
He also directed questions about this to the Foreign Affairs Ministry, saying it was the correct authority in this matter.
Earlier today the Daily NK reported that North Korea neglected to recall its workers allegedly involved in the smuggling of luxury goods and weapons here despite severing ties with Malaysia and withdrawing its diplomatic personnel.
The news site focused on North Korean news quoted a source as saying on Monday that hundreds of employees affiliated with the ruling Central Committee and secret agents from the Munitions Industry Department (MID) are still in Malaysia.
The report claimed that the first group smuggles luxury goods into North Korea while the MID is involved with arms smuggling.
On March 19, international news agency Reuters reported North Korea saying that it would sever diplomatic relations with Malaysia after the courts here ruled that Mun Chol Myong could be extradited to the US to face money-laundering charges.
Putrajaya responded critically to North Korea’s decision and expelled the country’s diplomatic personnel and their families within 48 hours.
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