Malaysia to deport N Korean arrested in Kim killing

Anifah said that earlier in the week, Malaysia demanded that North Korea apologize for criticizing the investigation into the February 13 killing of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport.

Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, said this in commenting on the expulsion of North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, yesterday.

South Korea has blamed the North for the murder, citing what they say was a standing order from North Korea's leader to kill his exiled half-brother who may have been seen as a potential political rival.

The nuclear-armed North was first designated a state sponsor of terrorism in 1987 when its agents bombed a South Korean plane killing all 115 on board.

This came after the ambassador's ongoing criticism of Malaysian authorities investigating the murder of Kim Jong-nam.

"Malaysia will react strongly against any insults made against it or any attempt to tarnish its reputation", he said in a statement released late Saturday.

Diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea have soured since the murder, which South Korea and the USA allege was an assassination organised by North Korean agents.

Known as an expert in chemistry, Ri was arrested days after the murder on suspicions that he may have been involved in making the nerve agent used for the murder or may have helped others run away after the killing.

Malaysia's attorney-general told Reuters on Thursday he was being released due to insufficient evidence.

Up to 1,000 North Koreans now work in Malaysia and, like expats worldwide, their remittances are a valuable source of foreign currency for the isolated regime.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Malaysia viewed with serious concern the reports that indicate Malaysia's non-compliance with sanctions on DPRK by the UN Security Council. To them, it (the case of Kim Jong Nam's death) is not related to global issues but as their issue.

A senior Malaysian official told AFP that the government was mulling further "downgrading diplomatic ties" with North Korea.

Two young women accused of smearing VX nerve agent on the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader were charged with murder Wednesday in a Malaysian court. "The warrant is not only to be served, but some diplomatic procedures have to be followed", he said, musing that embassy staff should "respect the legal system, ethics, culture and the normal practice in our country, as well as the conduct of worldwide diplomacy".

On Wednesday, two women - one from Indonesia and one from Vietnam - were charged with murder for allegedly poisoning Kim by rubbing VX nerve agent on his face at Kuala Lumpur's global airport on February 13.

The country had called for Malaysian authorities not to carry out an autopsy on Kim in the aftermath of the killing.

Either our state security services are incompetent or they did not care that North Korean intelligence services were using Malaysia as a safe haven for their espionage and criminal enterprise.

  • Leroy Wright