N. Korean diplomat wanted over killing


Malaysia’s Royal Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar, center, speaks next to a screen showing North Korean Hyon Kwang Song at a news conference in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

Reuters KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) — Malaysian police on Wednesday named a senior official in North Korea’s Embassy and a staffer at its state airline, who are wanted for questioning over the murder last week of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader.

Kim Jong Nam was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb. 13, while preparing to board a flight to Macao, where he lived in exile with his family under the protection of Beijing.

Kim Jong Nam had spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic control of the isolated, nuclear-armed state.

Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar named the North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning as 44-year-old Hyon Kwang Song, and said he held the rank of second secretary at the embassy.

The police chief identified the Air Koryo staffer as Kim Uk Il, 37.

He said both were in Malaysia, but gave no further details.

“They’ve been called in for assistance. We hope the embassy will cooperate with us and allow us to interview them quickly or else we will compel them to come to us,” Khalid told reporters at a news conference.

Police have stepped up security at the morgue where Kim Jong Nam’s body is being held after an attempted break-in earlier this week, Khalid said.

Malaysia has denied North Korea’s request for the body to be handed over to its embassy directly and has urged the victim’s next of kin to come forward to help with the investigation.

Malaysia has so far identified a total of eight North Koreans suspected of being linked to the killing.

One, Ri Jong Chol, is in custody, and another, Ri Ji U, remains at large. Khalid said police “strongly believed” four others were back in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, having fled Malaysia on the day of the attack.Speech

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