Malaysia arrests N Korean in Kim killing

By | February 19, 2017

AFP, Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian police said yesterday they had arrested a North Korean man over the assassination of Kim Jong-Un’s brother, as relations between Pyongyang and Kuala Lumpur nosedived in a battle for his body.
A 46-year-old was arrested on Friday evening with documents that identified him as North Korean citizen Ri Jong Chol, a police statement said, making him the first person from the North to be detained over the case.
Kim Jong-Nam died after an unidentified liquid was sprayed in his face at Kuala Lumpur international airport on Monday, in an attack Seoul says was carried out by female agents on the orders of Pyongyang.
Local officers have already arrested a woman with a Vietnamese passport and a Malaysian man, as well as an Indonesian woman who foreign police said could have got involved in the murder thinking it was a reality TV prank.
Jong-Nam’s body has been held in a Kuala Lumpur morgue since an autopsy on Wednesday, the results of which could take up to two weeks to come through, Malaysia’s health minister told AFP.
After Malaysia ignored demands to return the remains, Pyongyang accused Kuala Lumpur of conspiring with its enemies and said it would reject whatever results came from the post-mortem.
“The Malaysian side forced the post-mortem without our permission and witnessing. We will categorically reject the result of the post-mortem conducted unilaterally excluding our attendance,” the North Korean ambassador told reporters gathered outside the morgue on Friday.
Ambassador Kang Chol’s comments were the first official remarks from the country since the killing, while North Korean state media has remained silent on the murder.
The ambassador said he had met Malaysian police, demanding the release of the body without success, according to an English-language transcript of his speech.
“They are colluding with the hostile forces towards us who are desperate to harm us of malice,” the transcript said, suggesting South Korea was trying to defame the North in a bid to distract from a corruption scandal at home.
Malaysia’s top health official told AFP Saturday that the government was “not bothered” by the complaint and that Pyongyang would have to wait as long as it took for the autopsy report to be published.

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