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Putrajaya denies halting visas for North Koreans

 | July 1, 2017

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says reports on such a decision being made following tensions arising from the killing of Kim Jong Nam are untrue.

zahid-malaysia-visaPUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has denied that Malaysia has stopped issuing visas for citizens of North Korea, saying media reports on the matter were false.

“The news is not true and there has not been any such directive,” he told reporters at his Hari Raya open house here today.

Quoting Malaysian government sources, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency recently reported that the country had stopped importing workers from North Korea.

It said this was due to the diplomatic tensions between the two nations that came about after the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, at the low-cost carrier airport, klia2, in Sepang on Feb 13.

Several North Koreans were implicated in the murder, as both governments expelled each other’s ambassadors and imposed tit-for-tat exit bans on each other’s nationals.

Many of the 1,000 or so North Koreans working in Malaysia, mostly at coal mines and construction sites in Sarawak, are said to have since returned home.

A Korean restaurant in Kuala Lumpur closed shop and the workers returned home in May, when their work permits were not renewed, the Kyodo report noted.

On Myanmar’s recent decision to disallow United Nations (UN) investigators probing the plight of the ethnic Rohingya from entering the country, Zahid said he would discuss the issue with foreign minister Anifah Aman.

“I will discuss with Anifah to get the finer details of efforts undertaken by Wisma Putra on this matter,” he said.

“We are also looking through a new report of what has happened in Myanmar and will undertake humanitarian and diplomatic actions based on Wisma Putra’s advice,” he added.

The Myanmar government said yesterday it would not permit entry to the UN mission set up after a Human Rights Council resolution was adopted in March, to look into allegations of killing, rape and torture of Rohingya people by the country’s security forces.

Malaysia stops importing North Korean labour


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