The 9 Malaysians who were trapped in North Korea after the republic barred them from leaving are back in the country!
They arrived safely in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 5:03am this morning (Friday, 31st March), after departing Pyongyang at 7:45pm Malaysian time yesterday (Thursday, 30th March).
The chartered flight was flown by Lt Colonel Hasrizan Kamis, who described the flight as tense. Hasrizan explained that there was nothing unusual about the flight, but the crew had pretended to be civilian pilots just to be safe.
He said that there was a slight delay, stating, “The only issue was that there was a long delay between the time we landed in Pyongyang, at 4.30pm Malaysian time, and the time we were allowed to take off, at around 7.45pm.” However, the cause of delay wasn’t explained.
They had to stop at Fuzhou Changle airport in China for a refuel before touching down at KLIA. Upon arriving, the Malaysians were greeted by their next-of-kin and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman at the Bunga Raya Complex.
The 9 Malaysians have been identified as Malaysia’s counsellor to North Korea Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain, his wife Iza Karmila Ramli, and their children Annur Zulaikha, Aynur Zhafirah, and Ayscha Zinnirah; personal assistant to the ambassador Noor Saaidah Jamaludin, her husband Mohd Radzuan Othman, and 8-month old baby Mohamad Radhiy; as well as administrative assistant Nirmala Malar Kodi Singaram.
The 9 were trapped in North Korea since 7th March for a total of 24 days. North Korea had barred all Malaysians from leaving the republic over the murder case of Kim Jong Nam.