North Korea and Malaysia have banned each other’s citizens from leaving their countries, in a growing row over the killing of Kim Jong-nam.
The extraordinary tit-for-tat actions come amid North Korean fury at Malaysia’s ongoing investigation into his death at a Kuala Lumpur airport.
The North Korean leader’s half-brother was killed with a potent nerve agent.
Malaysia has not directly blamed the North for this, but there is widespread suspicion Pyongyang was responsible.
North Korea has fiercely denied any accusations of culpability and the row over the killing and who has the right to claim Mr. Kim’s body – has rapidly escalated over the past two weeks.
Both Malaysia and North Korea have already expelled each other’s ambassadors.
The state news agency said on Tuesday that all Malaysian nationals in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will be temporarily prohibited from leaving the country until the incident that happened in Malaysia is properly solved.
It said this was to ensure the safety of it citizens and diplomats in Malaysia.
It added that Malaysians in North Korea country would be able to carry on their lives as normal.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said it was an abhorrent act which was in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms.
He said in a statement that Malaysians were effectively being held hostage in North Korea.