Malaysia says it will give Kim's family time to claim body

Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed on February 13, when Malaysian police say two women smeared super toxic VX nerve agent on his face at KLIA2.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi said the government has made a decision to deport 50 North Koreans in Sarawak whose working permits expired recently.

Police said last week they had confirmed he was Kim Jong Nam, but refused to say how.

Investigators say the VX nerve agent used to kill him was nearly certainly produced in a sophisticated state laboratory and North Korea is believed to possess large quantities of chemical weapons.

The chemical is so toxic it is on the United Nations list of weapons of mass destruction.

Two-thirds of the 39 countries that North Koreans can travel to without a visa are in Asia and Africa, including Cambodia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.

Police say the other three, including a North Korean diplomat and an employee of Air Koryo, North Korea's state airline, are believed to be in the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. "If DPR Korea can not find a venue for the June 8 game, AFC will proceed to find it for them", added Windsor.

North Korea's ambassador to the UN Kim In-ryong denounced [press conference] the claims as falsehoods, denying the accusations, accusing its enemies of spreading disinformation. The Malaysian government is demanding North Korea hand over the four suspects. Instead, North Korea refers to him as Kim Chol, the name on the passport Kim was carrying when he was attacked in a crowded airport terminal.

It is reported that the North Korean workers are mainly in businesses including coal mining and construction.

He added there are a total of 315 North Koreans in Malaysia now, with about 50 of them residing in Sarawak.

"We have now established that Kim Chol is Kim Jong Nam", local press quoted Khalid Abu Bakar as saying at the time.

North Korea and Malaysia have been taking mutually retaliatory measures after tensions escalated following the assassination.

That is the burning question on nearly everyone's mind over the government's decision whether deport or detain the 315 North Koreans in Malaysia.

Kim Jong Nam had been living in the Chinese territory of Macau with his second wife under Beijing's protection after the family went into exile several years ago.

  • Elsie Buchanan