Following the assassination of Kim Jong-nam at klia2 airport last week, Malaysians have been advised not to visit North Korea over security reasons.
North Korea has demanded for the return of Kim’s body and has blamed Malaysia for his death. In response, Malaysian tourism and culture minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has dubbed North Korea "a rouge state", according to a report by The Star.
An outbound agent, who requested anonymity, do not see any fallout arising from the tourism minister's declaration as demand for North Korea has always been slow. He said: “It is a remote country and there is not much information on the place. But we will stop selling since Mohamed Nazri has made this statement.”
Currently, Malaysian passport holders do not need a visa to visit North Korea. Instead, they only need an entry permit, which can be obtained after purchasing a full package tour that includes hotel accommodation, transfers and meals through an accredited travel agency.
According to the North Korea Tourism website, the accredited agency will submit the entry permit application to Kuala Lumpur-based DPR Korea Tourism office for processing, which will take two weeks.
And despite calls from Malaysian parliamentarians to review the country’s visa-free policy for North Koreans, Mohamed Nazri did not deem it a necessary move as the initiative only benefitted North Korean officials; ordinary citizens are forbidden to travel out of their country in the first place.