North Korea suggests US, Seoul behind Kim Jong Nam assassination

Posted March 14, 2017

The killing of the half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un last month in Kuala Lumpur International Airport with VX nerve agent triggered a bitter standoff between the previously friendly Asian nations, which have expelled each other's ambassador and refused to let their citizens leave.

Apandi also warned that it's a sensitive matter, adding that the Prime Minister Najib Razak has ordered that only he or Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi can issue comments to the media regarding the issue, The Star Online reported.

North Korea convened Monday's news conference to appeal for an global forum of legal experts to discuss the legal grounds for U.N. Security Council sanctions.

Jong Nam was carrying a passport with the name of Kim Chol when he was believed to have been smeared on the face with the highly toxic VX nerve agent by two women.

The United States and other countries are also believed to have been involved in the probe or lent a hand in the protection of family members fearful they might be targeted next by the regime.

Just after the assassination, a feud had begun between North Korea and Malaysia, where Pyongyang insisted Malaysia to return the body of Kim Jong Nam and kept objecting to Kim's autopsy while Malaysia refused to do so and kept continuing its investigation.

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No minister or government official is allowed to make any statement on the negotiations between Putrajaya and Pyongyang on the release of the nine Malaysians stranded there.

And a separate group of experts, charged with exploring legal pathways to hold North Korea accountable for widespread rights abuses and crimes against humanity, reiterated calls to have the country referred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

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. He was dead within 20 minutes, authorities say.

The government should provide an explanation on how nearly 200 North Koreans were able to participate in the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme since 2014, says former diplomat Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin.

Only 315 North Koreans remain in Malaysia at the present time, and they include students, Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) participants, as well as workers in various sectors.

Jong Nam's son, Kim Han Sol, 21, last week appeared in a video to say he's gone into hiding with his mother and sister.