Reuters KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) — Interpol has issued a red notice, the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant, on four North Koreans wanted in connection with the murder of Kim Jong Nam, Malaysia’s police chief said on Thursday.
The estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was murdered on Feb. 13, when Malaysian police say two women — an Indonesian and a Vietnamese — smeared super toxic VX nerve agent on his face at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The two women were charged for the murder earlier this month, but police are looking for seven North Korean suspects in connection with the killing, including four who are believed to have made their way back to Pyongyang.
Police requested Interpol’s help to apprehend the suspects last month.
“We have obtained a red notice for the four North Korean nationals who were at the airport on the day of the incident and who have since left ... we are hoping to get them through Interpol,” police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters.
The murder has resulted in a diplomatic meltdown between two countries with once strong ties.
North Korea has questioned the Malaysian investigation into the murder and refused to acknowledge that the man murdered is Kim Jong Nam.
At the time of the killing, he was carrying a diplomatic passport bearing another name, but Malaysian authorities said on Wednesday Kim Jong Nam’s identity had been confirmed using DNA samples taken from one of his children.
Malaysia has also refused demands by the North Korean government for Kim Jong Nam’s body to be released, saying that the remains can only be handed over to the next-of-kin under local laws. No family member has come forward to claim the body.
State news agency Bernama, quoting Malaysian deputy police chief Noor Rashid Ibrahim, said Thursday that the family had given consent for Malaysia to manage Kim Jong Nam’s remains. Noor Rashid did not say when or where the consent was given.