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March 28, 2017 15:12

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05:32 8 March 2017

U.N. calls for calm between Malaysia and N. Korea

NEW YORK, March 7, Kyodo

The United Nations on Tuesday called for calm between Malaysia and North Korea after the two banned each other's nationals from exiting their countries following the murder of the half-brother of Pyongyang's leader.

"We call for calm and for both parties to settle any difference through established diplomatic practice," U.N. Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said at a news briefing.

On Monday, North Korea first announced its action after its Ambassador Kang Chol, expelled from Malaysia over his "rude" remarks since the Feb. 13 deadly poisoning of Kim Jong Nam, arrived in Beijing.

While calling for the early release of its citizens, Malaysia soon after took a reciprocal measure against North Koreans in the country, indicating the level of hostility in their once-cozy ties.

North Korea has not acknowledged that the deceased is the 45-year-old estranged half-brother of its leader Kim Jong Un, instead referring to him as Kim Chol, the name that appeared in the diplomatic passport he was traveling on.

Malaysia, which suspects that numerous North Koreans were behind the murder, has said his death was caused by the highly toxic nerve agent VX.

The ambassador's refusal to apologize for his denunciation of the probe into the fatal attack, involving two women suspected of using their hands to apply the agent to his face, has infuriated Malaysia.

==Kyodo

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