Last week, Pyongyang and Kuala Lumpur imposed travel bans against each other’s citizens following the February 13 murder in Malaysia of Kim Jong-nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother. South-east Asia has worked to integrate North Korea into the Asia-Pacific region through the ASEAN dialogue process. However, Pyongyang’s missile launch into the Sea of Japan on March 6 is likely to have greater impact on South-east Asian views of North Korea than Malaysia's diplomatic spat over Kim Jong-nam.
- Likely North Korean efforts to expand trade with South-east Asia will see limited success.
- The Kim Jong-nam murder and China’s position may add further strain to the Philippines-US relationship.
- South-east Asian states are unlikely to support China’s wish to punish South Korea economically for deploying the THAAD system.