North Korea tests new rocket engine: State media

A woman arrested by Malaysian police is seen on CCTV at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

KCNA quoted Kim as saying that the successful test was a "great event of historic significance" that marked the "new birth" of the country's rocket industry as the North seeks to erase its dependence on other countries' technology.The new report comes in the wake of an unusually overt threat to the USA and Japan by the North earlier this month, after it fired off a simultaneous barrage of four missiles as part of exercises that Pyongyang said were training for strikes on US military bases in the country.

Kim Jong-un, the north's supreme leader and Kim Jong-nam's younger half-brother, visited a palace to mark the birthday of their father, the late dictator Kim Jong-il early on Thursday. The local New Straits Times reported that he is believed to have played a key role in the plot to kill Kim Jong-nam, citing its analysis of security camera footage before and after the attack at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13. The daily says, like the four other North Korean suspects, Chang is believed to have fled Malaysia shortly after the attack.

One of the sources said: "There could be a few more people assisting [in the murder], which will raise the number of the total of North Koreans involved to around 10". His body remains unclaimed at the morgue of the Kuala Lumpur general hospital. The unnamed expert quoted by NST said this was to indicate that "the job was done".

On Wednesday, Zahid, the deputy PM, said Malaysia was "looking at all possibilities", including handing over Kim's body to North Korea in exchange for nine Malaysian citizens trapped in Pyongyang because of the exit ban.

But Mr Najib said the Malaysians there had nothing to worry about. Embassy officials have made no comment.

NORTH Korean diplomat Pak Myong Ho blamed a "despicable and extremely dangerous" plot by the United States and South Korea yesterday for the killing of Kim Jong Nam in Malaysia.

Kim Jong Nam was the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

The story Malaysia hunts four North Korean spies over Kim Jong-nam's assassination first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

  • Joanne Flowers