N. Korean envoy accused of manipulating Kim’s murder probe
Kuala Lumpur: The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia on Sunday accused the North Korean ambassador of manipulating the investigation into the murder here of Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam.
The statement by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi came after the Foreign Minister announced the expulsion of North’s Ambassador Kang Chol from the country for not issuing an apology over his recent criticisms of the investigation into Kim Jong-nam’s assassination, Efe news reported.
“The statements by the ambassador were obviously aimed at manipulating the matter,” Zahid said during a meeting with members of the ruling party.
“We have been professional in our probe in terms of interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence, whether it was DNA samples or CCTV footage,” he added.
Malaysian authorities have given Kang until 6 p.m., on Monday to leave the country.
The measure comes amid escalated tensions between Malaysia and North Korea over the killing of Kim Jong-nam on February 13 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport using the VX nerve agent.
On Friday, Malaysia issued an arrest warrant for Kim Uk Il, an employee of North Korea’s Air Koryo airlines who has sought refuge at his country’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur, in relation to the crime.
Authorities also sought to interrogate North Korean diplomat Hyon Kwang Song. However, his diplomatic immunity means he cannot be arrested.
Both reportedly went to see off four North Koreans suspected of planning the lethal nerve agent attack on Kim Jong-nam.
So far, the only people detained over the murder are two women — Indonesia’s Siti Aisha and Vietnam’s Doan Thi Huong — who allegedly rubbed the VX on Kim Jong-nam’s face using a handkerchief.
The police believe the four North Koreans recruited the two women, who maintain that they were hired to play a prank on the victim.
The US and South Korea have accused Pyongyang of plotting the murder.
However, Malaysia is yet to point any fingers at Pyongyang over the death, which North Korea claims occurred due to a heart attack.