Malaysia to cancel visa-free entry for North Koreans from March 6, following Kim Jong-nam's murder

Namrata Tripathi
Malaysia to cancel visa-free entry for North Koreans from March 6, following Kim Jong-nam's murder

Malaysia is set to cancel visa-free entry for North Koreans from March 6, according to state news agency Bernama reports. The move has come following the murder of North Korean leader's half-brother Kim Jong-nam, which has frayed the diplomatic ties between the two countries.

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North Koreans, from next month, will be required to obtain a visa before entering Malaysia for national security reasons, the agency reported, citing the deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Malaysia is one of the few foreign destinations North Koreans could visit without procuring a visa, and Malaysia is one of the few countries, which is allowed a visa-free entry to visit the nuclear-armed state.

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The relations between the two countries soured shortly after the death of Kim Jong-nam, who was murdered at the Kuala Lumpur airport with a toxic nerve agent. South Korea and the United States have said that the assassination was organised by agents in North Korea.

The North Korean nation had also asked Malaysia not to go ahead with the autopsy of Kim and demanded his body be given back. However, the Malaysia went ahead with the autopsy anyway and asked the Kim Jong-Un-led nation to provide familial DNA evidence if they wanted the victim's body. North Korea had also asked Malaysia to release the three suspects who were detained in the murder case, including two women who have been charged with Kim's murder.

An Indonesian woman and a Vietnamese woman have been charged with Kim's murder, however, the police officials have also detained another North Korean man and want to question seven others, including a senior official in the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur in association with the murder. 

A high level North Korean diplomatic delegation on Tuesday arrived in Kuala Lumpur and has held talks with the members of the Malaysian cabinet to press Pyongyang's demands.

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