Malaysia officials have vehemently denied accusations that they violated sanctions imposed by the United Nations on North Korea. According to a Reuters report, North Korea-linked companies were running an arms network in Malaysia.

The two countries have previously enjoyed a strong relationship, but this has been strained recently due to the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of the North Korean leader, at Kuala Lumpur airport on 13 February.

North Korean intelligence agents are alleged to have used front companies to run an arms sales operation in Malaysia, called Glocom, says the Reuters report.

This was categorically refuted by Malaysia's foreign ministry who issued a statement on Saturday (4 March), saying "Malaysia categorically rejects any such insinuation."

The ministry added that Malaysia had provided responses to the queries raised by the UN and will fully cooperate with an investigation.

The UN report, which was sent to the Security Council, says Glocom sells battlefield equipment in violation of sanctions. The company is linked in website registration data to two Malaysian companies controlled by North Korean directors and shareholders. It is also under the control of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, the North Korean intelligence agency responsible for weapons procurement and overseas operations, the UN papers also revealed.

On its Malaysian website, glocom.com.my, the brand advertises more than 30 radio systems for "military and paramilitary" organisations.

The United Nations panel stated that it had issued a request to the Malaysian government on whether they would expel Glocom's North Korean representative in their country. There was also a request to freeze the assets of the two Malaysian firms – International Global System and International Golden Services – according to the Straits Times, to comply with UN sanctions.

"The panel has yet to receive an answer," the UN report said, which will be released later in March.

Malaysian police say that the two companies behind Glocom were being "struck off" according to Xinhua, China's official press agency.

Malaysian Police officers
Malaysia rejects UN report it violated sanctionsReuters/Athit Perawongmetha/Files