Can Malaysian Travel To North Korea

General Background Information

Malaysia is a Southeast Asian nation located in the south of Thailand and the Gulf of Thailand, near Singapore, the South China Sea, and the Philippine Sea. Malaysia has a population of approximately 30 million, and the capital city is Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is a multicultural nation that is home to different ethnic backgrounds, religions, and languages. The official language is Bahasa Melayu and the majority of the population is Muslim.
Malaysia shares many interests with North Korea, both of whom are members of the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Malaysia also has an established diplomatic relationship with North Korea, and both countries are party to several international agreements and treaties. Malaysia has a free trade agreement with North Korea and has offered to provide medical and other humanitarian assistance to the country.

Can Malaysians Travel to North Korea?

Currently, Malaysians are not allowed to travel to North Korea unless it is for an official diplomatic, medical or humanitarian purpose. This is due to some Malaysian citizens reportedly travelling to North Korea for illegal activities, and for this reason, the Malaysian government has imposed a travel ban for all Malaysians. Any Malaysian who wishes to travel to North Korea must first obtain authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Malaysia.
The Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, China can offer advice on getting authorized to travel to North Korea. However, travelers need to be aware that the visa process to North Korea is lengthy and complicated, and the ultimate decision lies with the North Korean government.
Malaysians who are able to obtain authorization to travel to North Korea are subject to stricter restrictions than other travelers, such as being required to submit an official itinerary and travel costs prior to arrival in North Korea, and may be subject to higher visa fees and surveillance by North Korean officials during their visit.

What Should Malaysians Do Before Traveling to North Korea?

It is important for Malaysians who are planning to travel to North Korea to understand the security risk the country poses. As mentioned, Malaysian citizens must obtain authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before travelling to North Korea, and must also consider the additional security measures of the destination.
When planning a trip to North Korea, it is important for travelers to read up on the current security situation in the country and to ensure that their itineraries and activities conform to North Korean laws and regulations. Malaysians should also make sure they have a valid passport and visa, as well as the required documents, such as travel insurance and authorization documents.

How To Prepare For The Trip To North Korea

Malaysians travelling to North Korea should also be aware of the North Korean laws and culture to ensure that they do not incur any offence. Customs and immigration laws and regulations should be followed, and any acts perceived as disrespectful to the North Korean government, such as taking photographs in certain areas, should be avoided.
Malaysians should also note that the North Korean government is known to impose tight restrictions on access to information and social media, and the media is heavily censored. As such, Malaysians should prepare for a significantly different communication environment than what they are used to in Malaysia.

Vaccinations For Malaysia Travellers To North Korea

Before travelling to North Korea, Malaysians should also receive certain vaccinations in order to prevent certain diseases. It is highly recommended for travelers to North Korea to receive vaccinations against hepatitis A and hepatitis B, as well as typhoid and influenza. In addition, Malaysians should receive a rabies shot if they are planning to take part in outdoor activities or activities involving animals.

Malaysia Relations With North Korea

The relationship between Malaysia and North Korea has been relatively cordial, with the Malaysian government sending humanitarian aid and medical assistance to the North Korean people in recent years. It should be noted, however, that the Malaysian government has imposed a travel ban for Malaysians to North Korea for security reasons, and it is important for Malaysians to take into consideration the security risk when planning their trip to the country.

Travelling For Business

While it is difficult for Malaysians to travel to North Korea for leisure, there are some opportunities for Malaysians to travel to North Korea for business. For example, North Korea has a Special Economic Zone, Rason, located near the border with China and Russia, which allows foreign businesses to operate within the country, and there have been some Malaysian business delegations travelling to North Korea in recent years.
Before travelling to North Korea for business, it is important for Malaysians to first seek advice from the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, China, as well as obtain necessary authorization and permission from the North Korean government. It is also important for business travelers to understand the local laws, regulations, and culture in order to ensure a successful and secure business trip.

Traveling With Tour Groups

Malaysians are able to travel to North Korea with authorized tour operators who have obtained permission from the North Korean government. These tour operators usually offer a safe, reliable option for traveling to the country and will often provide support throughout the duration of a traveler’s stay in North Korea.
These tour providers will also advise travelers of the security risks and restrictions in North Korea, as well as give advice on necessary precautions. It is recommended for Malaysians to use the services of a tour operator when traveling to North Korea, as this will provide an added layer of security and peace of mind during their stay in the country.

Accommodation In North Korea

Malaysians traveling to North Korea will find a variety of accommodations available in the country. Hotels in North Korea range from basic to luxurious, depending on the traveler’s budget and preference. Most travelers stay in the larger cities, such as Pyongyang and Kaesong, while those traveling to more remote areas can explore traditional guesthouses, which provide a more authentic experience of North Korea.

Cultural Differences

Malaysians travelling to North Korea should be aware of the cultural differences between the two countries. North Korea has its own set of rules, customs and beliefs that may be vastly different from those in Malaysia. It is important for Malaysians to respect and abide by these rules and customs, as failure to do so could lead to serious consequences.
In addition, North Koreans have a different way of communicating than Malaysians, and it is important for travelers to be mindful and polite in their interactions with locals. It is also essential to dress conservatively and avoid making comments that could be seen as offensive or critical of the North Korean government.

Activities In North Korea

Although it may seem that there is limited activity in North Korea, travelers will find that there is actually a lot to do and explore when visiting the country. Tourists are able to visit some of the most interesting and unique places in North Korea, such as the Mass Games, a large-scale political performance held in Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang, as well as the DMZ between North and South Korea.
Travelers to North Korea can also relax and explore the natural beauty of the country, such as the many beaches, mountains, and national parks. Additionally, there is a wide range of historic monuments and museums to see, such as the Korean War museum and the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum.


Despite the restrictions and security risks, there are opportunities for Malaysians to travel to North Korea. Before traveling, it is important for Malaysians to obtain authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as familiarize themselves with the laws and regulations governing North Korea. Additionally, Malaysians should be mindful of the cultural differences and be respectful of the customs and beliefs of the North Korean people. With the right preparation, Malaysians will be able to visit North Korea and experience its unique culture and history.

Cassie Grissom is an American journalist and author living in Seoul, South Korea. She has been studying the Korean peninsula since 2011, and her work focuses on understanding human rights issues in North Korea. In addition to her work as an author, Cassie is an active advocate for human rights in North Korea. She regularly shares stories about life in North Korea with international audiences to raise awareness of the plight of its citizens.

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