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North Korea holding Malaysia ‘responsible’ for death of dictator’s brother

It’s a story that just keeps getting stranger.


David Gilmour


Posted on Feb 23, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 10:53 pm CDT

For the first time since the incident North Korea’s state-controlled media outlet KCNA has spoken of the death of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia, the half-brother of the country’s dictator Kim Jong-un, criticizing the police for an investigations it said was filled with “holes and contradictions.”

The statement from Pyongyang comes just a day after a press conference in which Malaysian police investigating the assassination said an intruder attempted to break into the morgue where Kim’s body is being held—another weird twist to an already strange case.

Police chief Khalid Abu Baker described the incident to reporters on Wednesday, demanding that North Korea send a diplomat to the city to assist in the investigation and named another North Korean national, Kim Uk-il, who is wanted for questioning.

The broad daylight killing took place in the busy Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13, carried out by two women who had doused their hands in toxic chemicals, which they then smeared on Kim’s face as the pair jumped him.

Dramatic CCTV footage of the attack surfaced in the days following, showing how one woman approached the victim from behind as the other grabs at his face before running away.

Kim, clearly alarmed, approaches airport staff and can be seen attempting to communicate to them what had just taken place. He is taken to the first aid room but died from a seizure en route to the hospital.

The pair were quickly arrested, as images circulated online of one suspect who was wearing a white sweater with the letters “LOL” across the front.

When questioned, one of the suspects, Siti Aisyah, claimed that they had been paid as part of what they believed to be a prank TV show. Further questioning has revealed that they were aware that the chemicals they had on their hands were toxins and relayed to police how they had been told a strict method for washing their hands almost immediately after the attack.

In the press conference on Wednesday, authorities shared that the two suspects had practised the killing in shopping malls across the city in the weeks prior to the attack.

With the Malaysian probe underway on their soil, North Korea have demanded that Kim’s body be returned home immediately and left no questions about who it held accountable for the death.

“The biggest responsibility for his death rests with the government of Malaysia as the citizen of the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea] died in its land,” KCNA reported.

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*First Published: Feb 23, 2017, 10:51 am CST