North Korean Arrested by Malaysia Police Over Kim Murder

  • North Korean ambassador refuses to accept initial autopsy
  • Half-brother of North Korean leader poisoned at airport

Malaysian police say they have arrested a North Korean citizen over the murder of the slain half-brother of dictator Kim Jong Un.

The suspect had a Malaysian i-Kad identification document for foreign workers that named him as Ri Jong Chol, 46, police said in a statement. His arrest follows the detention during the week of two females and another male suspect.

Malaysia won’t conduct a second autopsy on Kim Jong Nam, Selangor state police chief Abdul Samah Mat said, refuting reports that there would be another post-mortem. Yonhap reported Malaysia would re-conduct the autopsy after gathering more evidence from forensic doctors and after North Korea refused to accept the initial results. 

North Korea’s Ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, rejected the result because the autopsy was performed without the attendance of Pyongyang officials, Yonhap said.

“There is no such thing” as a second post-mortem, Abdul Samah said via text message.

No Delay

Malaysia isn’t delaying the process of releasing Kim’s body as alleged by North Korea’s envoy, the official Bernama news agency reported Saturday, citing Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar. The investigation cannot be completed until DNA from Kim’s family is obtained, Khalid said.

Malaysia earlier rejected a request by North Korean authorities to claim the victim’s body before the autopsy, Malaysia’s inspector general of police said via text message on Thursday.

Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of former dictator Kim Jong Il, was murdered on Monday by two unidentified women inside an airport in Malaysia. He had fallen out of favor with his father after he was caught trying to enter Japan using a fake Dominican Republic passport in 2001, according to Japanese reporter Yoji Gomi, who wrote a book about him. Kim Jong Nam had been critical of Kim Jong Un, reportedly saying in 2012 that he “won’t last long” because of his youth and inexperience. The two brothers had different mothers.

South Korean officials believe that Kim was poisoned with either a needle or a spray, Lee Cheol-woo, chairman of the intelligence committee in South Korea’s parliament, told reporters on Wednesday.

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