Sunday 19 November 2017

Kim suspects 'hiding in embassy'

Murder victim Kim Jong-Nam
Murder victim Kim Jong-Nam

Arthur Lim

Two suspects in the murder of Kim Jong-nam were yesterday believed to be "hiding" inside North Korea's embassy in Malaysia, according to sources.

Tensions between the two countries are high after the suspected poisoning of the half-brother of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Yesterday, police said that Hyon Kwang Song (44), a senior diplomat with the rank of second secretary at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, was still holed-up inside.

"Hyon Kwang Song is the supervisor of the whole plot," a senior Malaysian security source said. "His role was to supervise all arrangements and report to the ambassador. He is hiding in the embassy."

A second North Korean suspect, Kim Uk Il (37), is also being sheltered in the embassy in the west of the capital, say Malaysian officials. He is employed by Air Koryo, North Korea's state-run airline and is believed to have co-ordinated with four other North Korean suspects at the airport, the source said.

Khalid Abu Bakar, an inspector general in Malaysia's police, said an arrest warrant would follow if the two were not handed over. The embassy did not respond.

A third North Korean suspect, named as Ri Ji U, is also believed still to be in Malaysia but not at the embassy. Four other plot suspects are now thought to be back in Pyongyang, Mr Khalid said.

Another North Korean, Ri Jong Chol, was arrested last week after it emerged he had lived in Malaysia for more than three years without ever working at the company registered on his employment permit or being paid.

Two women in custody, a Vietnamese and an Indonesian, who are believed to have carried out the attack using a fast-acting poison, were trained to wipe toxin on Mr Kim's face, then wash their hands, Mr Khalid said. "Yes, the two female suspects knew that the substance they had was toxic," he said, adding, "We don't know what kind of chemical was used." (© Daily Telegraph London)

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