PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are the only people in the world who do not need a visa to set foot in North Korea, but travel agencies say there have not been many takers.
According to the DPR Korea Tourism website, all Malaysian passport holders need is an entry permit.
To get this, a visitor only needs to purchase a full package tour that includes hotel accommodation, transfers and meals through an accredited travel agency.
Urban Rhythms Tours, Adventures and Travel director Nigel Wong said his firm has received no enquiries from tourists wanting to go to North Korea.
“We also do not offer packages to North Korea as we have never considered doing so,” he said.
Dayangti Transport and Tours director S. Jayakumar said he had never heard of Malaysians wanting to go to North Korea.
However, some Malaysians do travel there and there are tour agencies that offer travel packages.
They may be affected by the current tension since the murder of Kim Jong-nam on Feb 13.
North Korea has criticised Malaysia’s handling of the investigation, while Malaysia has recalled its ambassador to North Korea.
It’s sad that the diplomatic row might affect tourism between the two countries said graphic artist, photographer and avid traveller Reuben Teo.
“The fact that Malaysia has diplomatic relations with North Korea means we are neutral and not biased in any way,” he added.
Teo, who has been there twice, said his first trip to North Korea in 2014 was an eye-opener for him, and he found the locals there very friendly and normal.
“Once relations are normalised again – hopefully soon – I would strongly encourage Malaysians to visit and see for themselves,” he added.