Football match between North Korea and Malaysia now at risk as foreign ministry says travel ban due to escalating tensions in Koran peninsula.
PETALING JAYA: The government has imposed an immediate ban on Malaysians travelling to North Korea.
The foreign ministry released a statement this morning announcing the travel ban, adding that it was until further notice.
“The decision to impose the travel ban on Malaysians to North Korea was taken in view of the escalation of tensions in the Korean peninsula and related developments arising from missle tests,” Wisma Putra said, referring to the
The ministry added that the travel ban will be reviewed once the situation has returned to normal.
There has been heightened tension after North Korea’s two missile tests over Japan earlier this month, with United States President Donald Trump saying he was ready to respond with military action, during his speech at the United Nations general assembly.
Last week, North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York, that Pyongyang was ready to test a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean.
Meanwhile, the travel ban is also likely to impact the upcoming AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 qualifying match between North Korea and Malaysia, scheduled for Oct 5 in Pyongyang.
On Sept 20, FAM president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim announced in a statement that he had been given special permission from North Korea to travel direct to Pyongyang prior to the match, instead of having to stopover in Beijing, China first.
He said this following a meeting with North Korean envoy to Malaysia, Kim Yu Song.
The match was originally scheduled for March 28, and then June 8. However, it was called off both times due to security concerns following the diplomatic fallout between Malaysia and North Korea earlier this year.
Ties between Malaysia and North Korea reached a low over the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged brother in the klia2 budget airport in Sepang, in February.
As a result, citizens of both countries which had been enjoying visa-free travel for decades have to now apply for visas from the respetive foreign missions.
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Sektor pelancongan Malaysia merupakan salah satu sektor yang utama dalam ekonomi Malaysia. Sehingga kini, sektor pelancongan merupakan sektor kelima terbesar negara selepas sektor perkhidmatan kewangan, kelapa sawit, borong dan runcit, gas dan tenaga, dan petroleum dengan memberikan sebanyak RM36.9 bilion kepada Keluaran Negara Kasar (KNK).
Namun begitu pada peringkat awal selepas pasca kemerdekaan Malaysia, kerajaan tidak memberi penekanan kepada sektor pelancongan. Kerajaan pada ketika itu lebih memberi tumpuan kepada pembangunan infrastruktur negara dan melawan ancaman komunis. Selain itu, penyebab ancaman dari luar seperti konfrantasi dengan Indonesia turut menjejaskan tujuan kerajaan pada ketika itu. Ia serta merta melambatkan pekembangan sektor pelancongan di Malaysia.
Pada era masa 60-an, sektor pelancongan masih belum memainkan peranan yang utama terhadap perkembangan ekonomi Malaysia. Kerajaan pada masa itu memberi tumpuan kepada sektor hasil bumi seperti bijih timah dan getah. Sektor hasil alam tersebut telah memberikan sebanyak 45% kepada keluaran Negara kasar (KNK) pada tahun 70-an.