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Back safely from hermit kingdom

SEPANG: After 24 days of uncertainty in North Korea, it was home sweet home for nine Malaysians who were finally allowed out of the hermit kingdom.

Relief was clearly seen on their faces when they arrived at KL International Airport at about 5am yesterday.

“We would like to spend time with our family members now,” said Malaysia’s counsellor to North Korea Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain after reading a short statement by the group.

They had been scheduled to leave Pyongyang on March 7 but were barred from leaving.

Their situation came about following a diplomatic row between the two countries over the Feb 13 murder of Kim Jong-nam at KLIA2 with a deadly nerve agent.

Also on the flight home with Mohd Nor Azrin were his wife Iza Karmila Ramli and their three children – Annur Zulaikha, six, Aynur Zhafirah, five, and Ayscha Zinnirah, three.

The others who were allowed to leave Pyongyang were administrative assistant Nirmala Ma­­lar Kodi Singaram, personal assistant to the ambassador Noor Saaidah Jamaludin, her husband Mohd Radzuan Othman and their eight-month-old son Mohamad Radhiy.-thestar

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