Suspects in North Korean killing coated hands with poison

Francis Osborne
February 23, 2017

Malaysia yesterday urged North Korea to respect the sovereignty of its laws and refrain from questioning its probe into the killing of the half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, as the dragnet over the suspects widened to include a senior official in the North Korean embassy and a state airline employee.

"If North Korea doesn't lift the diplomatic immunity of one of their diplomats who's being sought by Malaysian police in connection with Kim Jong Nam's assassination, Malaysia would probably find it compelling to invoke such kinds of provisions", Shahriman said.

"We hope that the Korean embassy will cooperate with us, allow us to interview them and interview them quickly", Khalid said, adding, "If not, we will compel them to come to us".

Kim Jong-un's diplomats have been refusing to cooperate over the investigation as both US and South Korean spooks blame the tyrannical regime for his murder. Malaysian police "pinned the suspicion on us and targeted the investigation against it".

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says his country had no reason "to paint the North Koreans in a bad light".

Police said the substance used remains unknown, but it was potent enough to kill Kim Jong Nam before he could even make it to a hospital.

CCTV footage, reportedly from the airport, appears to show a woman approach Mr Kim from behind before wiping fast-acting poison on his face.

"You see the lady moving away with her hands like this toward the bathroom, to the washroom", Khalid said during a press conference.

Officers have also arrested a 28-year-old Vietnamese woman, as well as a 25-year-old Indonesian and her Malaysian boyfriend.

Mohamad Nizan Mohamad spoke in China's capital, Beijing, while in transit to Malaysia to where he had been recalled following the death last week in the Southeast Asian nation of Kim Jong Nam.

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"We have a very experienced forensic team in the Health Ministry", Health Minister Dr. S. Subramaniam told reporters after Kang announced North Korea would reject the results of any autopsy done under Malaysian government supervision. Airport authorities rushed him to the hospital and he died on the way, the police chief said.

Two women and two men have been arrested in connection to the attack - nationals from Vietnam, Indonesia and North Korea.

Jong-nam, the brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was attacked at an airport in Kuala Lumpar.

South Korea, too, is certain the victim is Kim Jong Nam and says the name on the man's passport is a popular fake identity for North Koreans. But North Korea several times has questioned the fairness of the Malaysian investigation and the accuracy of its findings.

"We strongly believe it (the murder) was planned and they (the two women) were trained to execute it...there is no way they did not know (it was poisonous or was a prank)", said Khalid.

But after Jong-Il's death in 2011 the succession went instead to his younger half-brother Kim Jong-Un. He also assured protection to any family member who comes to Malaysia to identify the body, according to Channel News Asia.

The chemical could have originated from a North Korea biotechnology center, a South Korean activist said Wednesday.

He said police learned that the women were instructed to clean their hands afterwards.

However, Kim Jong Nam fell from favor with his father in 2001.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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