Malaysia imposes travel ban for North Korea

Malaysia to ban citizens from visiting North Korea

Due to the prolonged tension, the match was postponed to Oct 5, only five days before the match against Hong Kong on Oct 10.

The ban on citizens from traveling to North Korea until further notice, announced by the foreign ministry (Wismaputra), was unsurprisingly publicized by Malaysian authorities within the wider context of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula rather than as a product of just bilateral ties alone. "The travel ban will be reviewed once the situation has returned to normal", the foreign ministry said Thursday.

On Sept. 28, Malaysia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs banned Malaysians from visiting North Korea.

North Korea attempted to mend fences with Malaysia following the incident, promising safe passage for the Malaysian national soccer team to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2018 qualifying final round in Pyongyang.

"This decision is taken in view of the escalation of tensions in the Korean Peninsula and related developments arising from missile tests".

The Football Association of Malaysia has informed the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) that the national team would not be able to fulfill the fixture in light of the latest development.

This is the second time that the North Korea-Malaysia match has been postponed.

The Malaysian order also comes four days ahead of the beginning of the trial of two women who have been accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who died in February after he was allegedly poisoned at the Kuala Lumpur airport.

It was rescheduled, but the AFC considered travel to North Korea a risk and moved the match to October after North Korea assured the Malaysian team of its safety.

Malaysia is just one of the rare countries that have been accorded visa-free status by North Korea.

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