Malaysia to Return Body of Kim Jong-Nam to North Korea after Autopsy
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc) : Malaysia will return the body of the deceased half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un after an autopsy has been conducted. Kim Jong-Nam was reportedly poisoned. Malaysia police made several arrests. Very few actual facts are known while media are rife with speculations and allegations.
Malaysian police confirmed that the detention of two suspects in the alleged killing of Kim Jong-Nam. South Korean government and intelligence circles adamantly state that “female agents working” for Pyongyang poisoned Kim Jong-Nam on board a flight on Monday”. The government in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are equally adamant in rejecting these allegations. So far, no independently verifiable evidence in the case was provided to media – nsnbc encourages any direct, first-hand witnesses or persons in possession of independently verifiable “evidence” (not hearsay) to come forward and contact the newspaper.
The little that we actually know – Including the Claims, Statements, Hearsay and Allegations
A women allegedly with an Indonesian passport, was reportedly taken into custody overnight. She is, according to Malaysian police, being questioned along with a likewise unnamed 28-year-old Vietnamese woman who was detained on Wednesday. The two women were arrested separately by detectives investigating the murder of Kim Jong-Nam who is described as “the estranged playboy half-brother of Kim Jong-Un”. The 45-year-old half-brother of the DPRK’s head of state had allegedly some kind of liquid sprayed on his face after allegedly being set up by two women – according to Malaysian police. He was rushed to hospital suffering from a seizure, but was dead before he got there.
CCTV images that emerged in Malaysian media, purportedly of one of the suspects, showed an Asian woman wearing a white top with the letters “LOL” emblazoned on the front. Several more arrests were expected throughout the day, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim told reporters in Malaysia. Officers had obtained a seven-day remand order for the first suspect, named as Doan Thi Huong, and for 25-year-old Indonesian passport holder Siti Aishah, Selangor state police chief Abdul Samah Mat. Police also arrested a Malaysian man who led them to the second woman and was now helping with investigations, Abdul Samah he added.
The body of the deceased Kim Jong-Nam was Thursday being held at Kuala Lumpur Hospital following an autopsy, the results of which have not yet been released. Malaysia’s deputy prime minister told reporters he believed North Korea had put in a request to claim the body through the police and the hospital, and that Malaysia was ready to comply. “We will facilitate the request by any foreign government although there are procedures to be followed. Our policy is that we have to honor our bilateral relations with any foreign country,” Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said. He added that the killing would not affect ties between Malaysia and the DPRK.
However, police chief Abdul Samah said no request had been received. An official at the morgue said they had no indication of who would claim the body. North Korean embassy officials were seen visiting the hospital’s forensics department in a diplomatic vehicle on Wednesday afternoon and again overnight. Reports published in AFP, naming an unnamed “Malaysian official” as source, according to whom “Pyongyang protested the post-mortem examination” could not be independently verified by nsnbc. Malaysian law requires a post-mortem examination in the case of death under suspicious circumstance anyway, and it is probable that politicians in Pyongyang and DPRK’s embassy staff must have been aware of that fact.
Reports that Kim Jong-Nam was “assassinated by Pyongyang” over reports that he allegedly was ready to “defect” could not be independently verified either. Unlike “common working class people in North Korea”, members of the Kim family don’t have to “defect” to leave the country any time they wish to. Moreover, nsnbc could not find any independently verifiable evidence that could suggest that Kim Jong-Nam made preparations to “defect”. That is, no bank-data, or other evidence that could substantiate these claims could be found.
Jong-Nam was the eldest son of Kim Jong-Il, but on his father’s death in 2011 the succession went to Jong-Un, who was born to the former leader’s third wife. Kim Jong-Nam had at one time been set to assume the leadership of the DPRK but fell reportedly out of favor after an embarrassing attempt to get into Japan on a fake passport in 2001. He has since lived in exile, with much of his time spent in the gambling enclave of Macau, where he allegedly enjoyed some protection from Chinese security forces.
Known as an advocate of Chinese-style reform in the DPRK and believed to have ties with Beijing’s elite, Jong-Nam once told Japanese reporters that he opposed his country’s dynastic system. It is noteworthy that Jong-Nam was a proponent of the Chinese model of opening the country’s market while Jong-Un actually prefers a Vietnamese model. Kim Jong-Un’s plans for comprehensive economic and other reforms in the DPRK, in close cooperation with German and Swiss experts and based on a Vietnamese model were obstructed in 2013, when the country was slammed with UN sanctions by the UN Security Council, with the concurrent vote of both Russia and China.
CH/L- nsnbc 16.02.2017
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