MNA International Desk: Malaysia has cancelled a visa-free travel deal with Pyongyang as a diplomatic spat deepens over the assassination of the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, news agency reported on Thursday.
The government implemented the change on the grounds of national security; the Malaysian news agency quoted the country’s deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as saying.
The cancellation will take effect on March 6, after which North Koreans entering Malaysia will be required to obtain a visa, the report added.
Before the murder of Kim Jong-Nam at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13, the two countries enjoyed relatively warm ties, with some bilateral trade and citizens of both nations entitled to travel to the other under a unique reciprocal visa-free deal.
The cancellation comes after members of the powerful ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation, held a protest outside the North Korean embassy last week and demanded Malaysia end the free visa ruling.
Two female suspects in the attack, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam, were charged with murder on Wednesday.