Najib: Malaysia will not tolerate any disrespect or insult to the country's sovereignty.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will thread carefully in making a decision regarding diplomatic ties with North Korea following the expulsion of its ambassador.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said Malaysia will not tolerate any disrespect or insult to the country's sovereignty.

Both countries are facing a diplomatic dispute following ambassador Pyongyang's accusation that Malaysia is hiding something in the murder investigation of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un, on Feb 13.

"We will see … we will take one step at the time," he told reporters in Parliament when asked if the government would review diplomatic ties with North Korea.

Najib said the government is not expecting any apology from North Korea since it has not responded on it till now.

"We are not getting anything. We don't expect them to say anything," he said.

Najib said any official sent to Malaysia must respect the country and apologise and retract any insulting statements or baseless accusations against it.

"This shows that we are strict when it comes to our dignity and sovereignty. No one can insult our country or create problems here as they like," he said.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said there is still room for diplomacy and that he hopes that the matter will not create a worse scenario.

"The matter is with the foreign office. We do not want it to reach the realms of the Defence Ministry.

"There is still room for diplomacy and there is still room for us to make sure that the foreign office and Home Ministry do what it takes," he told reporters after the royal address at the opening of the 5th Parliament session.

Hishammuddin said he is positive that the global community will understand Malaysia's decision.

"I am sure the world knows that what we have done is right because any independent and sovereign country would have done the same thing if placed in this situation," he said.

It was reported that the expulsion of Pyongyang was a warning that North Korea cannot manipulate Malaysia's investigation into Jong-Nam's murder.