There have been no reports of North Korean citizens trying to leave the country following Malaysia's retaliation against the ban on Malaysians leaving the reclusive state.
"As of 4pm on Tuesday, there hasn't been any North Korean who tried to leave," an Immigration Department source told mStar Online yesterday.
He said the department had issued an internal memo to its state Immigration directors, directing that North Korean citizens could not leave the country.
The memo, he said, was sent out right after the Prime Minister announced yesterday that North Koreans were prevented from leaving Malaysia until the Government was assured of the safety of all Malaysians in North Korea.
In Kuching, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak was awaiting instructions from the Federal Government on the fate of some 170 North Korean workers in the state.
The North Koreans are mostly specialised workers in coal mining, bridge and hydroelectric dam projects.
"We are discussing with the Home Ministry and Foreign Ministry on the status of these workers," he told reporters after opening a forest landscape forum here.
A check at the Selantik coal mine in Sri Aman division found that North Koreans were no longer working there.
Residents told The Star that the North Koreans returned to their country about four to five months ago.
The presence of North Koreans at the mine came to light when an explosion on Nov 22, 2014 there killed four workers, including one North Korean.
It was reported at the time that the mine had 49 North Koreans among its 119 workers, with the rest from Myanmar, Indonesia, China and Bangladesh.