Malaysians Barred From Leaving North Korea

Speaking of the “an eye for an eye” on the U.S. – EU visa-free saga a few days ago, North Korea is now also playing the “tit-for-tat” match by banning Malaysians from leaving the elusive state. It all started from the killing of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport and since then diplomatic relations between the two countries are under severe strain.

Citing from the foreign ministry, the official Korea Central News Agency puts out a statement that says,

“All Malaysian nationals in the DPRK will be temporarily prohibited from leaving the country until the incident that happened in Malaysia is properly solved,” the official Korea Central News Agency said, citing the foreign ministry.”

There are currently 11 Malaysians in North Korea, three of whom are embassy employees.

When Malaysia decided to cancel the visa-free travel deal with Pyongyang a few days ago, Malaysia also demanded that North Korea’s ambassador to leave Malaysia within 48 hours. In retaliation, Pyongyang expelled Malaysia’s ambassador. In addition, Pyongyang bans all Malaysians from leaving North Korea until the Malaysian government would solve the issue in a

“fair and timely manner based on goodwill”. 

CORRECTION – Updated timeline of diplomatic developments between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang since the assassination of the half-brother of the North Korean leader on February 13. – AFP / AFP

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak condemned the ban and described it as “hiding our citizens hostage’. There are about 1000 North Koreans in Malaysia presently and it seems like Malaysia has stopped them from leaving too.

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