Archive for Malaysia
Malaysia said it will issue an arrest warrant for a North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning over the murder of Kim Jong-nam if he doesn’t voluntarily cooperate with the police. “Reasonable” time will be given for the diplomat to come forward before police take further action, said Selangor police chief Datuk Seri Abdul Samah Mat. On Wednesday, Malaysia said 44-year-old Hyon Kwang Song, a second secretary at the North Korean embassy here, was wanted for questioning over the death of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Abdul Samah said if the person concerned did not cooperate, the police would issue a notice under Malaysian law, “compelling” him to appear before the investigation team. “And if he fails to turn up upon given this notice, then we will go to the next step by getting a warrant of arrest from the court,” he told reporters. Eight North Koreans are wanted in connection with the case, including the diplomat. One has been detained by Malaysian police, four are believed to have fled to North Korea, while two others are still in Malaysia.
Two officials at the North Korean Embassy here today accepted a sealed document that was hand delivered to them at the gates. The individual who delivered the document arrived at the embassy gates at 12.50pm in a Proton Preve car. The document bore the stamp of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Earlier, North Korean counsellor Kim Yu Song told reporters milling around outside the embassy to clear the path as they were awaiting the delivery of a document. He however refused to give any details when pressed by reporters as to the contents of the document or from whom it was from. Members of the media have virtually camped outside the embassy since the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on Feb 13 at the KL International Airport 2.
The North Korean embassy claims it has not received any official request from the police or the foreign affairs ministry to question two of its citizens – including a diplomat – over the killing of Kim Jong Nam. An embassy official, Kim Yu Song told reporters today that on Wednesday, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar informed the media that police sought the embassy’s assistance to get the statements of second secretary, Hyon Kwang Song and an Air Koryo employee, named Kim Uk Il. But Yu Song said to date, it has not received any official request on the matter. “We also condemn a report by a South Korean media outlet that we had already received such a request yesterday. “I have stated in Korean that we had not received such a request yesterday but they reported the opposite,” he told reporters waiting outside the embassy. Before this, Khalid said the police were looking to question Kwang Song and Uk Il over Jong Nam’s killing.
Malaysia is considering expelling North Korea’s envoy to the Southeast Asian nation or shutting its embassy in Pyongyang, as tensions escalate over the killing of the estranged half-brother of the North’s leader Kim Jong Un, a senior government official said. North Korea’s ambassador said last week his country “cannot trust” Malaysia’s handling of the probe, and also accused the country of “colluding with outside forces” – a veiled reference to bitter rival South Korea. A senior Malaysian government official who is familiar with the discussions said Ambassador Kang Chol’s comments have angered Malaysia and it was preparing a response, which could including declaring the ambassador “persona non grata”. Such a move would be the strongest response Malaysia could take against a foreign diplomat, and would mean Kang Chol would have to leave the country. The source said Malaysia was also considering other options. The country, which has until now been one of the few nations to maintain friendly ties with the isolated North, could close its embassy in Pyongyang, or end visa-free travel for North Koreans entering Malaysia. If the criticism from North Korea did not stop, all diplomatic and trade ties could be cut, the source added. The Malaysian foreign ministry did not answer phone calls seeking comment. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said earlier his week that the ambassador’s comments casting doubt over Malaysia’s investigation were “diplomatically rude”. Attempts by Reuters to contact the North Korean embassy by phone were unsuccessful, and reporters were not allowed to enter the embassy to seek comment.
The two North Korean suspects wanted in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, are believed to be hiding out in the country’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian police believe that Hyon Kwang-song, a senior North Korean diplomat attached to the embassy in Malaysia and another suspect, Kim Uk-il, are seeking shelter at the embassy. Kim Jong Nam, 46, was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13 with what police believe was a fast-acting poison, as he prepared to board a flight to Macau where he lived in exile with his family under the protection of Beijing.
Malaysian police on Wednesday named a senior official in North Korea’s embassy and a staffer at its state airline, who are wanted for questioning over the murder last week of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader. Kim Jong Nam, 46, was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13, while preparing to board a flight to Macau, where he lived in exile with his family under the protection of Beijing. South Korean and U.S. officials believe the killing of the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was an assassination carried out by agents of the North. Kim Jong Nam had spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic control of the isolated, nuclear-armed state. Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar named the North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning as 44-year-old Hyon Kwang Song, and said he held the rank of second secretary at the embassy. The police chief identified the Air Koryo staffer as Kim Uk Il, 37. He said both were in Malaysia, but gave no further details. “They’ve been called in for assistance. We hope the embassy will cooperate with us and allow us to interview them quickly or else we will compel them to come to us,” Khalid told reporters at a news conference. Calls on Wednesday to the North Korean embassy for comment on the latest developments went unanswered. Malaysia has so far identified a total of eight North Koreans suspected of being linked to killing. One, Ri Jong Chol, is in custody, and another, Ri Ji U, remains at large. Khalid said police “strongly believed” four others were back in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, having fled Malaysia on the day of the attack. Diplomatic tensions have escalated between North Korea and Malaysia since the killing, with the countries trading barbs over Malaysia’s handling of the investigation. North Korea Malaysia is one of the few countries in the world that maintains ties with the nuclear-armed nation. Earlier this week Malaysia recalled its ambassador from Pyongyang, and Prime Minister Najib Razak rebuked the North Korea ambassador in Kuala Lumpur for making “diplomatically rude” comments.
The North Korean embassy in Malaysia today fired off a salvo at Malaysian authorities, accusing the country of infringing international rights and taking sides with South Korea. The embassy’s statement came after Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had rejected demands by North Korea for a joint investigation into the assassination of Kim Kim Jong-nam, and demanded the embassy hand over two new suspects. The embassy’s statement was distributed to the media outside its embassy in Kuala Lumpur. It also accused Malaysia of performing an “illegal act of infringing international laws, customs and diplomatic privileges and at the same time, a clear evidence that Malaysia takes sides with South Korean allegations.” A similar allegation was made by the North Korean ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, recently. Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman had on Monday dismissed the claims.