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North Korean Visitors To Malaysia Will Soon Be Required To Apply For Visa

By March 2, 2017 at 7:20 am
North Korean visitors to Malaysia will be required a visa (Photo : Rahman Roslan / Stringer)

The Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid announced that visitors from North Korea to Malaysia will soon be required to apply for visas. The requirement will be starting Mar. 6.

On Thursday, Zahid said that the move was intended for security purposes. This came after Kim Jong-Nam's death where one Malaysian is the main suspect. "We will gazette this and visas for North Korean visitors are a must starting Monday," Zahid revealed.

Currently, Malaysian passport holders can travel to and from North Korea without a visa. Diplomatic ties between the two countries suffered as North Korea criticized Malaysia on how it handled the investigation.

North Korea has insisted that Malaysia hand over Kim Jong-Nam's body. The southeast Asian country is firm on its policy that the body can only be returned to the next of kin of the deceased.

Earlier this month, Kim Jong-Nam was assassinated using a lethal nerve agent named VX at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, is one of the three suspects arrested by the police.

Aisyah claimed that she thought she was just doing a prank for a Japanese TV show. This claim was reiterated by Andriano Erwin, Indonesia's deputy ambassador to Malaysia, who visited the suspect in custody.

Another suspect, Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese citizen was also arrested. She also believed that they were only conducting a harmless prank.

Meanwhile, South Korean and U.S. officials believed that Kim Jong-Nam, who had spoken up against his family's dictatorship of North Korea, had been assassinated by agents of the reclusive country. Malaysian police have already identified eight North Koreans as wanted for questioning.

South Korean lawmaker Kim Byung-kee said that there were two assassination groups that worked apart before they met in Malaysia shortly before the murder. The first group was claimed to have included North Korean state security department member Ri Jae-Nam and foreign ministry worker Ri Ji-hyon as well as recruited Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese.

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