SEOUL, March 19 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Friday it will sever diplomatic relations with Malaysia for extraditing one of its nationals to the United States to face money laundering charges.
The North Korean businessmen living in Malaysia is accused of supplying prohibited luxury items from Singapore to Pyongyang in violation of U.N. sanctions. Malaysia's top court ruled that he can be extradited to the U.S., rejecting his appeal challenging the U.S. extradition request.
"This world-startling incident is an out-and-out product of anti-DPRK conspiracy created from the heinous policy of hostility by the United States aimed at isolating and suffocating our country and the pro-U.S. subservience by the Malaysian authority," the official Korean Central News Agency said, using the North's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"With regard to the grave situation that has prevailed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK hereby announces total severance of the diplomatic relations with Malaysia which committed super-large hostile act against the DPRK in subservience to the U.S. pressure," it added.
The KCNA claimed that the businessman was engaged in "legitimate external trade activities" and warned that the Malaysian authority will bear full responsibility for any consequences that result between the two countries.
It also warned that the U.S. will "pay a due price" as the "backstage manipulator and main culprit of this incident."
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