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PETALING JAYA: There will hardly be any economic impact on Malaysia from the cutting of diplomatic ties by North Korea. Universiti Teknologi Malaysia …

PETALING JAYA: There will hardly be any economic impact on Malaysia from the cutting of diplomatic ties by North Korea.
Universiti Teknologi Malaysia geostrategist Prof Dr Azmi Hassan said there is hardly any trade between the two countries and there is virtually no people-to-people ties.
He said trade was already nearly nil before the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Uns half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, at the KL International Airport four years ago.
The major impact will be on North Koreans carrying out business in the country, he said yesterday.
North Korea hardly has diplomatic ties with other countries. Having diplomatic ties with Malaysia was a plus point for them as Malaysia is a neutral country.
Azmi said North Korea has a bigger agenda when it severed diplomatic ties.
He said the hermit state was angry at the recent US-South Korea military exercise.
To hit back at them, Pyongyang used the extradition of a North Korean citizen to the US as an excuse.
Azmi said the North Koreans in their statement said if anything happens between them and the US, the blame will lie with Malaysia.
He said this further shows Pyongyangs anger over the joint military exercise.
North Korean diplomats vacated their embassy yesterday after the two nations cut diplomatic relations in a spat over the extradition of a North Korean criminal suspect to the United States from Malaysia.
Buses ferried the diplomats and their families to the airport, where they were seen checking in for a flight to Shanghai.
Ties between North Korea and Malaysia have virtually been frozen since the 2017 assassination Jong Nam at KLIA.
Prof Barjoyai Bardai agrees that there will hardly be any economic impact for Malaysia.
He said Malaysia, being a neutral country, will want to have good ties with all countries.
In the medium and long term, we may attempt to repair ties with them, he said
Unfortunately, North Korea took a dim view of the extradition of its citizen to the US for money laundering. North Korea at the moment is being emotional, he added.
Pyongyang announced on Friday that it was severing diplomatic relations with Malaysia after a Malaysian court earlier this month ruled that a North Korean businessman could be extradited to the US to face money laundering charges.
Wisma Putra, in a statement on the same day, said it deeply regretted North Koreas decision and that, in turn, Malaysia will close its Pyongyang embassy, the operations of which were suspended in 2017.