PYONGYANG, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is temporarily banning all Malaysian citizens from leaving the country until safety of its diplomats and citizens in Malaysia is fully guaranteed, the official news agency KCNA reported on Tuesday.
The announcement was made in a notice issued by the protocol department of the DPRK Foreign Ministry, which said the Malaysian Embassy in the DPRK had been informed of the decision.
The DPRK Foreign Ministry hoped that the Malaysian Embassy and the Malaysian Foreign Ministry would properly settle the dispute arising from the murder of a DPRK citizen in Malaysia, said the notice.
Pyongyang wants to see the case properly addressed "from the goodwill stand of setting store by and developing bilateral relations," the notice added.
In the period, Malaysian diplomats and citizens "may work and live normally under the same conditions and circumstances as before," it said.
The notice came after Malaysia on Saturday declared the ambassador of the DPRK to the country Kang Chol as "persona non grata," asking him to leave Malaysia within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Malaysia has decided to revoke visa-free entry for citizens from the DPRK starting from Monday, saying that the decision was made after its national security was taken into account as a priority.
A DPRK national who was identified as Kim Chol was attacked on Feb. 13 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport Terminal 2. After seeking help from the airport staff, he died en route to hospital.
The Malaysian side said the DPRK man died a painful death minutes after being swabbed with a high dosage of lethal VX nerve agent after the body was examined.
However, the DPRK government claimed it was an anti-DPRK smear campaign and accused the Malaysian government of conniving with South Korea and the United States which intended to use the death of the DPRK citizen to tarnish the DPRK image and even to overthrow the DPRK system.
Pyongyang also sent a high-level delegation to Malaysia to discuss the matter and has urged Malaysia to return the body as soon as possible. But the request was rejected by the Malaysian government.