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Malaysia to revoke visa-free entry for DPRK citizens

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-02 14:21
KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia will revoke visa-free entry for citizens from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) starting from Monday, Malaysia's Bernama news agency reported on Thursday, citing deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The decision came after a DPRK man with the passport name of "Kim Chol" was murdered by two women at the Kuala Lumpur Airport on Feb 13. The police believed the two female suspects, along with four other DPRK nationals, planned and carried out the attack.

Zahid said the decision was made after taking into account national security as a priority, according to the Bernama report.

Malaysia indicted the two female suspects on Wednesday for murder. The third suspect, a DPRK national called Ri Jong Chol, is still in police custody but his remand period will end this Friday.

Zahid told the media he will be briefed on the handling of Ri, saying whether the police will release Ri or prosecute him will be known on Thursday.

Malaysia is one of the few countries in the world that grants visa-free treatment for DPRK citizens and is the only one that enjoys visa-free entry when its citizens enter DPRK.

A diplomatic row emerged between the two countries as the DPRK side accused the Malaysian side of "colluding with hostile forces" and delaying the release of the body. The DPRK government also sent a high-level delegation to Malaysia to discuss about the matter.

Malaysia insisted its objectivity and professionalism in the investigation.

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