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Special North Korean envoys arrive in Malaysia for talks on Kim Jong Nam's murder

Special North Korean envoys arrive in Malaysia for talks on Kim Jong Nam's murder
Kim Jong Nam was killed earlier this month at a Malaysian airport by assassins using VX nerve agent. - FILEpic
KUALA LUMPUR: North Korea special envoys arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday (February 28) to meet the Malaysian government after the assassination of the estranged half-brother of leader Kim Jong Un.

U.S. and South Korean officials believe Kim Jong Nam was the victim of an assassination orchestrated by North Korea. He had criticized the regime of his family and his half-brother Kim Jong Un in the past and had been living in exile, under Beijing's protection, in the Chinese territory of Macau.

The investigation into the killing, and Malaysia's refusal to hand over the body to North Korea before it is officially identified by the victim's next of kin, has caused a diplomatic rift between two hitherto friendly governments.

Ri Tong Il, former North Korean deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said he will discuss a number of "humanitarian issues" with the Malaysian government.

"Number one, the question of return of the body of the decease DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) citizen who died in Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Airport on the 13th of February," Ri told reporters in front of the embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

"Number two, the question of the release of the DPRK citizen arrested by Malaysian police related to the above incident. Number three, the development of the friendly relations between the DPRK and the Malaysian government," he added.

Malaysian police have said that two women smeared VX nerve agent, a chemical on a U.N. list of weapons of mass destruction, on Kim Jong Nam's face in an assault recorded on airport security cameras on February 13.

A North Korean, Ri Jong Chol, is also under police custody over his alleged involvement in the murder. Malaysian attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali said Ri will not be charged yet. His remand ends on Friday (March 3).

Two other suspects, Indonesian Siti Aishah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, are expected to be formally charged on Wednesday (March 1), facing charge that could carry death penalty, attorney general said.

Malaysian police is also pursuing eight other suspects.