Malaysia is seeking four North Korean suspects who fled the South-East Asian nation on the day the half-brother of dictator Kim Jong Un was murdered. The cause of death for Kim Jong Nam is still unknown and investigators are awaiting toxicology and pathology test results, Malaysia’s Deputy Inspector General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim told reporters in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Kim had complained of dizziness after two unidentified women wiped liquid on his face, Noor Rashid said. Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of former dictator Kim Jong II, was murdered on Feb. 13 by two women inside an airport in Malaysia.
He had fallen out of favour with his father after he was caught trying to enter Japan using a fake Dominican Republic passport in 2001, according to Japanese reporter Yoji Gomi, who wrote a book about him. Kim Jong Nam had been critical of Kim Jong Un, reportedly saying in 2012 that he “won’t last long” because of his youth and inexperience. The two brothers had different mothers.
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Police have yet to meet the next-of-kin and are trying very hard to get them to come and assist in investigations, Noor Rashid said. They will verify the deceased’s identity through DNA tests, he said.
South Korea is “certain” the man who was killed at Malaysia’s airport is Kim Jong Nam, after taking various factors into account, the country’s Unification Ministry spokesman, Jung Joon-hee, said in a briefing on Sunday. “North Korea is likely behind the death of Kim,” said Jung, citing the fact that some of the suspects are North Korean nationals.
The four suspects who fled were identified as Ri Ji Hyon, 33, Hong Song Hac, 34, O Jong Gil, 55 and Ri Jae Nam, 57. They held normal passports and not diplomatic ones, the police said. Police have detained four other suspects and are holding them for seven days.
Noor Rashid said Malaysia is following legal procedures and requirements despite allegations by North Korea, which reportedly declined to accept the initial results of the autopsy because it was performed without the attendance of Pyongyang officials.