A North Korea emissary denied on Friday that Kim Jong-nam, the country’s eldest brother Kim Jong-un, was killed with a powerful toxic agent on February 13 at Kuala Lumpur Airport to a heart attack.
Ri Tong Il, the UN’s former UN chief who heads a North Korean delegation deployed to Malaysia to claim the body denied the Malaysian version, in a statement to the press in front of the North Korean embassy, according to Channel News Asia.
Ri argued that the victim had a medical history of heart problems and high blood pressure and stated “there are strong indications that his death was caused by a heart attack”, the report said.
The diplomat also said that “if it were the VX agent, samples should be sent to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons”.
Malaysian authorities said Kim Jong-nam died minutes after two women, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese woman, rubbed his face with VX agent, according to a preliminary autopsy, as he tried to board a flight at an airport.
Malaysian police believe they were both recruited by four North Koreans who fled the country on February 13, hours after the incident, and for whom they have asked Interpol to locate them.
The Malaysian authorities have not yet formally identified Kim Jong-nam – who was traveling with a diplomatic passport in the name of Kim Chol – waiting to be able to compare the DNA with that of a relative.
South Korea identified the victim as Kim Jong-un’s brother and attributed the crime to North Korean VX agents, while Pyongyang questioned the police investigation and accused the Malaysian authorities of conspiring with their enemies.
The two women implicated in the case were charged Wednesday for murder, although they said they “acted believing they had been hired to play a joke on a television show”.
Malaysian authorities announced today that another detainee, North Korean chemist Ri Jong Chol will be released without charge and deported to his country.