Kim Jong Nam Killing: Malaysia Condemns Use of Chemical Weapon

On 13 February 2017 Kim Jong Nam, the forty-four year old half-brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was found dead at the Kuala Lumpur Air Port while he was waiting to board a flight to Macau, where he had been living in exile.

National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar brushed off Ri's claim of a heart attack.

The country is looking for seven North Korean suspects in total, four of whom are believed to have left the country. Former North Korean deputy United Nations ambassador Ri Tong-il, who is part of a delegation visiting Malaysia from Pyongyang, held a press conference to demand that the body be turned over to North Korea.

South Korea said that the North Korean regime is behind Kim's death, vehemently condemning Pyongyang for the use of the highly lethal chemical.

The Foreign Ministry said it was "greatly concerned" with the use of the toxic chemical and condemned the use of such a chemical weapon under any circumstances.

Also on Friday, Malaysia's Immigration Department said in a statement 47-year-old DPRK man Ri Jong Chol, who was arrested as a suspect after the killing, was handed over to the department from the police for deportation to the DPRK. A senior Malaysian official told AFP that the government was mulling further "downgrading diplomatic ties" with North Korea.

North Korea has not commented on its suspected involvement in the arms operation.

Kim Jong-nam was smothered by the gas as he was walking through Kuala Lumpur Airport last month.

"He is scheduled to depart for his home country today and will be escorted by two North Korean Embassy representatives".

Seoul's unification ministry shrugged off concerns that the release of Ri would make it hard to make North Korea take responsibility for the incident.

"His remand expires and there is insufficient evidence to charge him", Attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali told the Borneo Post. He died within 20 minutes of the attack.

North Korea does not acknowledge that it was Kim Jong Nam who died.

Pyongyang sent a high-level delegation led by its deputy ambassador to the UN Ri Tong-il to press for the release of Kim Jong-nam's body.

South Korean intelligence and USA officials blame North Korean agents for the assassination, but Pyongyang has rejected the allegations.

The man's family has gone into hiding, local media reported Friday.

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