Archive for North Korea
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.
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.
North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia Kang Chol, who has been summoned by Wisma Putra, made another allegation that Malaysia and South Korea were colluding with a political motive. Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said in a press statement that the allegation was “a serious insult” to Malaysia as investigation into the murder of Kim Jong-nam had been carried out in accordance with the law in Malaysia. Anifah said Kang Chol’s press statement carried several allegations. These allegations were “culled from delusions, lies and half-truths” from which the ambassador concluded that “there could be someone else’s hand behind the investigation”, and that the “investigation by the Malaysian police is not for the clarification of the cause of the death and search of the suspect, but it is out of the political aim”. “When Foreign Affairs Ministrry summoned Kang, the Deputy Secretary-General for Bilateral Affairs emphasized that the police investigation had been done impartially without fear or favor. It was also conducted in compliance with Malaysian laws and regulations. Any allegation to the contrary is deeply insulting to Malaysia as the suggestion is that the Malaysian Government is colluding with a foreign government. Foreign Ministry summoned Kang for accusing the Malaysian government of “concealing information” after Kim Jong-nam’s death. Malaysia would be recalling its envoy in Pyongyang, Mohamad Nizam Mohamad to return home for consultation. Kang Chol, in an impromptu press conference held outside the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, accused Malaysia for a second time.
Malaysia recalled its envoy from Pyongyang and summoned North Korea’s ambassador in Kuala Lumpur to explain his accusations that Malaysian authorities were colluding “with external forces” over the investigation into the slaying of leader Kim Jung Un’s estranged half-brother. Footage from airport cameras purportedly showing the assault on the half-brother of the North Korean leader emerged on Monday as a diplomatic row between Malaysia and North Korea escalated over the handling of a probe into the killing of Kim Jong Nam. Malaysian police are hunting four North Koreans who fled the country on the day of the attack, having already detained one North Korean man, a Vietnamese woman, an Indonesian woman, and a Malaysian man. At least three of the wanted North Koreans caught an Emirates flight to Dubai from Jakarta late on the same day, an immigration office official in the Indonesian capital told Reuters. Malaysia’s Star newspaper reported that all four had returned to Pyongyang. South Korean and U.S. officials have said the killing was probably carried out by North Korean agents.
The North Korean embassy accused Malaysia of trying to hide information over Kim Jong Nam’s death and threatened to ‘respond strongly.” The ambassador demanded that Malaysia release the body and findings of the post-mortem immediately. In a statement on Friday night, the embassy said a representative had met with the “high officer of the Malaysian Police” on Friday and had “strongly demanded him to release the body”, but the demand was rejected. “This strongly suggests that the Malaysian side is trying to conceal something which needs more time and deceive us and that they are colluding with the hostile forces towards us who are desperate to harm us of malice. “We will respond strongly to the moves of the hostile forces towards us with their intent to besmirch the image of our Republic, by politicising this incident and sue file [sic] this to the International Court,” the statement said.