KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Two Malaysians working for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) who were stranded in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) amid a diplomatic fallout had left the country, a WFP spokesperson said Thursday.

""WFP confirms that two WFP staff of Malaysian nationality have left the DPRK and arrived in Beijing today,"" a WFP spokesperson confirmed to Xinhua in a written reply.

""The staff members are international civil servants and not representatives of their national government. They work on WFP's programs in the DPRK,"" the spokesperson said.

Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Reezal Merican said earlier there were 11 Malaysian citizens stranded in the DPRK.

With the two leaving the DPRK, a total of nine Malaysian citizens are still left behind.

In a statement posted on his facebook page, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said all remaining Malaysians in the DPRK are safe after he had a phone call with the counsellor at the embassy in the DPRK.

""I have given him my assurance that the government will do everything we can to ensure that they return home safely soon. The whole of Malaysia is praying for them,"" Najib said, adding he was assured by the DPRK government of their safety in the DPRK though they are not allow to leave.

""The government will continue to work on reaching the best solution on this issue. Let us all pray for the best,"" he said.

In tit-for-tat moves following the death of a DPRK man at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia and DPRK have both expelled the ambassador of the other's side and banned each other's citizens from leaving, as investigations into the case strained bilateral relations.

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OSLO, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Norway's central bank said Thursday that its executive board decided in its latest meeting to keep the key policy rate unchanged at 0.50 percent.

There are prospects that inflation will be lower than expected earlier, which, in isolation, implies a lower key policy rate in the period ahead, Norges Bank said in a statement.

On the other hand, the upturn in the real economy appears to have taken hold, and unemployment has declined, the bank said, adding that inflation expectations appear to be firmly anchored.

With a key policy rate close to the current level, there are prospects that inflation will pick up again further out. An even lower key policy rate could lead to a further acceleration in house price inflation and debt accumulation, according to the central bank.

""Monetary policy is expansionary and supportive of structural adjustments in the Norwegian economy. The Executive Board's current assessment of the outlook suggests that the key policy rate will most likely remain at today's level in the period ahead,"" Oystein Olsen, governor of Norges Bank, was quoted as saying.

In Norway, the key policy rate, also called the sight deposit rate, is the interest rate on bank deposits up to a quota in Norges Bank. Changes in Norges Bank's key policy rate will normally have a strong impact on short-term money market rates and on banks' deposit and lending rates.

The Norwegian central bank's next rate decision will be announced on May 4.


PHNOM PENH Derek Stepan Coyotes Jersey , Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- Some 250 runners from 26 countries and regions have registered for the Angkor Ultra Trail 2016, to be held on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24 at the famed Angkor archaeological complex in northwest Cambodia's Siem Reap province, a senior sports official said Wednesday.

"This will be the first-ever Ultra Marathon in Cambodia," Vath Chamroeun, secretary general of the National Olympic Committee, said in a press conference here. "It aims to attract more international tourists to the famous Angkor archaeological park."

Initiated by French specialist Jean-Claude Le Cornec, four races are scheduled according to the levels of difficulty, the 128-km Ultra Trail, the 32-km Trail, 64-km trail and 32-km Nordic Walking.

Vath Chamroeun said foreign runners are required to pay 160 U.S. dollars for a 128-km race, 90 U.S. dollars for a 64-km run, and 60 U.S. dollars for a 32-km trek.

Angkor archaeological park, the kingdom's most popular tourist destination, received 2.1 million foreign visitors last year, generating a gross revenue of 60 million U.S. dollars from ticket sales, according to the government figures.

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