Malaysia cabinet to review trade ties with N Korea

Malaysia cabinet to review trade ties with N Korea
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed
PHOTO: The Star/ Asia News Network

The Cabinet is expected to review trade ties with North Korea after the latest diplomatic row that has seen both countries barring each other's nationalities from returning home.

International Trade and Industry Minister II Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan said trade with North Korea was expected to be discussed in the weekly Cabinet meeting on Friday when the ministers would decide if Malaysia should continue engaging North Korea in businesses.

"At this moment, trade is still as it is until the Cabinet makes a decision.

Read also: Leaders slam North Korea for 'taking hostages'

"This is a very new development but we will have to make a decision on this," he said when met after attending a conference here.

Malaysia and North Korea, up until a few weeks ago, enjoyed a robust relationship.

Malaysians were the only nationality who could visit North Korea without a visa.

Read also: Visa requirement for N. Koreans the right move, say analysts

Just last week, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the Government would not impose any trade embargo on the hermit kingdom despite growing tensions between the two nations following the fallout over Kim Jong-nam's death.

Trade with North Korea is mostly palm oil-related. Last year, trade with North Korea was about RM18mil(S$5 million) while Malaysia traded RM22mil in 2015.

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