Malaysia arrests North Korean man as row over Kim Jong Nam's death escalates

Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:42pm GMT
 

By Emily Chow and Liz Lee

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian police said on Saturday they had arrested a North Korean man in connection with the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as a diplomatic spat over his body escalated.

Kim Jong Nam died this week after being assaulted at Kuala Lumpur International Airport with what was thought to be a fast-acting poison. South Korean and U.S. officials have said he was assassinated by North Korean agents.

Malaysian police said the latest arrest connected with the murder was made on Friday night, and the suspect was identified as Ri Jong Chol, born on May 6, 1970. He was in possession of a Malaysian i-Kad, which is an identification card given to foreign workers, they added.

"He is suspected to be involved in the death of a North Korean male," read a statement.

The police chief for Selangor state, Abdul Samah Mat, said the suspect had been remanded in police custody.

Two female suspects, one an Indonesian and the other carrying Vietnamese travel documents, have already been arrested, while a Malaysian man has been detained. At least three more suspects are at large, government sources have said.

Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of isolated, nuclear-armed North Korea.

South Korea's intelligence agency told lawmakers in Seoul that Kim had been living with his second wife in the Chinese territory of Macau, under China's protection.   Continued...

A reporter holds up a local newspaper during his report in front of the morgue at Kuala Lumpur General Hospital where Kim Jong Nam's body is held for autopsy in Malaysia February 18, 2017. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
 
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