Malaysia rejects North Korean demand to hand over Kim Jong-Nam's body

Malaysia rejects North Korean demand to hand over Kim Jong-Nam's body

Malaysia rejects North Korean demand to hand over Kim Jong-Nam's body

On the morning of Feb 13, Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was at Malaysia's low-priced Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) and headed for his flight to Macau where he lives in exile.

Malaysian police issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the man was a 46-year-old from the DPRK who it identified as Kim Chol, born on June 10, 1970 in Pyongyang, based on his travel documents.

Aisyah, Huong and a third suspect, identified as Aisyah's 26-year-old Malaysian boyfriend, were arrested this week in connection to Kim's assassination.

Local investigators are still trying to piece together details of the case.

The arrest of a North Korean national, if confirmed, would support suggestions that Kim Jong-nam was assassinated on the orders of his half-brother.

"If there is no claim by next-of-kin and upon exhausting all avenues [to obtain DNA], we will finally then hand over the body to the [North Korean] embassy", said Abdul Samah Mat, a senior Malaysian police official.

North Korea said it would categorically reject Malaysia's autopsy report, and accused Malaysia of "colluding with outside forces", in a veiled reference to rival nation South Korea.

If North Korea is responsible for the killing of Kim Jong Un's half brother, Kim Jong Nam, then the reclusive country should be relisted to the USA terrorism sponsor list, a US congressman told Radio Free Asia (RFA).

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Kim was once the heir apparent to his father's rule of North Korea, before being discredited in favor of his half-brother. Malaysian media cite government sources saying the closed-circuit footage caught two women approaching Kim.

The report also said that Siti Aisyah was tasked with using a handkerchief to cover Jong-nam's face while Doan administered an injection. He added that Jong-nam was taken to the airport clinic and then subsequently to a nearby hospital, but he died in an ambulance on his way to the medical facility.

He had been living in the Chinese territory of Macau, under China's protection.

The attack on Mr Kim, who suddenly fell ill at the airport and died on the way to hospital, was over in five seconds, Malaysian newspaper New Strait Times reported yesterday.

If things had gone differently, Kim Jong Nam could have been the leader of North Korea.

But the two women and the Malaysian man, thought to be the taxi driver who took them from the airport, were quickly apprehended. While South Korea has blamed North Korea for a slew of notable assassinations or attempted killings in past decades, the North often denies involvement or simply doesn't comment. In 2001, he was arrested for attempting to enter Japan on a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

Reports of purges and executions have emerged from the current regime as Kim Jong-Un tries to strengthen his grip on power in the face of worldwide pressure over nuclear and missile programs.

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