Malaysians asked not to make travel plans to North Korea

Malaysians asked not to make travel plans to North Korea
PHOTO: the star

While doors here remain open to North Koreans, Malaysians have been told not make any travel plans to visit the unpredictable "rogue" nation.

"They can do all the impossible things so I ask Malaysians not to go there," said Culture and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

He agreed with Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman that North Korea was under the delusion that Malaysia was in cahoots with a foreign power in the assassination of Kim Jong-nam on Feb 13.

Read also: No second autopsy on Kim Jong-nam

"I personally feel that North Korea is a rogue country which has no respect for international law," he said after attending the launch of the 15th National Craft Day here yesterday.

Mohamed Nazri said that North Korea should not pressure Malaysia on the return on Jong-nam's body or with wild allegations.

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"Don't push us. This is not North Korea. This is Malaysia. We have our laws," he said.

On calls to review visa-free status for North Koreans coming into the country, Mohamed Nazri said: "There is no need to review the visa as North Koreans aren't allowed to travel out of their country in the first place.

Read also: Indonesia, Vietnam press Malaysia for access over Kim Jong-nam murder

"Although it is visa-free, they are still not coming," he said, adding that Malaysia did not have a tourism office in Pyongyang.

Separately, a former Wisma Putra diplomat said police can only interview the North Korean Embassy's Second Secretary Hyon Kwang-song, who reportedly has diploma­tic immunity, with the permission of the embassy and following certain protocols.

Read also: Malaysia, North Korea ties run deep

The source said the interview will need to be done in the pre­sence of the ambassador.

"Our police cannot question him like any other criminal suspect, meaning he cannot be taken into custody or handcuffed as he has diplomatic immunity.

Half-brother of N Korean leader assassinated in Malaysia

"If we do not respect these protocols, then other countries may impose the same treatment to our diplomats," he said.

Apart from seeking to interview the diplomat, another option for police is to get Malaysia to apply to North Korea to waive Hyon's diplomatic immunity.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar named Hyon, 44, along with Air Koryo employee Kim Uk-il, 37, as two individuals who police want to interview in relation to the murder.

Khalid said Hyon had diplomatic immunity and that Bukit Aman had written to the embassy requesting to interview him and Uk-il.

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