Articles by "Malaysia"

Malaysia and North Korea have lifted mutual bans on nationals from each country leaving the other as part of an agreement that ends a bitter row following the assassination of the North Korean leader’s exiled half-brother in Kuala Lumpur.
The nine Malaysians who had been barred from leaving North Korea in the wake of the dispute returned home after Pyongyang and Kuala Lumpur reached an agreement over transferring the body of the North Korean leader’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam. Malaysia, too, started allowing North Korean nationals to leave.
In a statement on Thursday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that after “very sensitive” negotiations, Malaysia agreed to release Kim’s body, which Kuala Lumpur was refusing to hand over to North Korean officials because they had not been cooperative in the Malaysian investigation of Kim’s killing.
No next-of-kin had stepped forward to claim the body either.
“Following the completion of the autopsy on the deceased and receipt of a letter from his family requesting the remains be returned to North Korea, the coroner has approved the release of the body,” Najib said.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency also confirmed the agreement, saying the two sides had pledged to “guarantee the safety and security” of each other’s citizens.
Following the development, Malaysia put Kim’s body on a plane to be delivered to Pyongyang. Earlier, a van was seen leaving the morgue where his body was being held.
Later on Friday, China confirmed that the body had been returned to North Korea. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang also said that “relevant” North Korean citizens had traveled back to their home country.
A van believed to be carrying the body of Kim Jong-nam leaves the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, in the Malaysian capital, March 30, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
The Malaysians stuck in North Korea — three embassy workers and six family members including four children — were flown home in a government plane and greeted by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman at the airport.
The exchange effectively ended a seven-week diplomatic row between the two countries that erupted with Kim’s murder at Kuala Lumpur’s International Airport. He was killed with a banned nerve agent amid crowds of travelers at a public terminal of the airport on February 13.
Malaysia, outraged by the brazen act of murder, sought several North Korean nationals, including a diplomat, for questioning. It also said it would conduct an autopsy on the body to determine the cause of the death.
North Korean officials quickly opposed any autopsy, refused to allow access to the North Koreans sought by Malaysia, and demanded that the body be promptly handed over to them.
The dispute lingered as the two sides refused to meet each other’s demands, and a ban was subsequently put in place on nationals from leaving.
Malaysian police arrested the two women who carried out the assassination by rubbing the nerve agent on Kim’s face, which led to his death only after 20 minutes.
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, claimed they were fooled into believing they were taking part in a television prank show. They face the death penalty if convicted of the murder at court.
It was not clear what would happen to the two under the deal between Malaysia and North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) and his murdered half-brother, Kim Jong-nam (File photos)
North Korea has denied any role in the killing. But South Korean intelligence sources have been putting the blame on Pyongyang.
Kim was planning to travel to the autonomous Chinese region of Macau when he was killed.
His death is considered as the most high-profile death during the reign of his younger brother, Kim Jong-un, since the execution of Jang Song-thaek, the brothers’ once powerful uncle, in December 2013.

Royal Malaysian Police Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar addresses journalists on March 7, 2017. (AFP photo)
Malaysian authorities have announced that the hunt is continuing for more suspects in the controversial case related to the killing of the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Police said Sunday that more people have been added to the list of suspects that Malaysia had been hunting in relation to the poisoning to death on February 13 of Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport.  
Malaysia has already been seeking seven North Koreans in the case as officials believe four of them are now back in Pyongyang and three could have fled to the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
In a briefing with reporters, the national police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar, would not give further details on the identity and whereabouts of the new suspects in the case, but said that an "important person" was among those being pursued.
A man watches news reports of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in Seoul on February 14, 2017. (AFP photo)
“I do not want to say more than that. If I do, they may run ... but we believe there is an important person too,” said Bakar, adding, “I do not deny that there are more North Koreans involved in the murder of Kim Jong-nam. We will follow the legal channel to get them.”
Kim died within 20 minutes after two women, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese, smeared his face with the banned VX nerve agent. This comes as Malaysia’s investigation into the case badly affected relations with North Korea. The two countries have decided to expel ambassadors while scrapping visa-free travels for each other's citizens. The two countries' nationals have also been barred from exiting the other’s territory.
Malaysia has not directly accused Pyongyang of orchestrating the murder but many say the agent used in the deadly poisoning was a product of a sophisticated state weapons laboratory.

Hospital workers move a body cart through the gate of the forensics wing at Hospital Kuala Lumpur, where the body of Kim Jong-nam lies, in Kuala Lumpur on March 11, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Malaysia says it will give the relatives of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother two to three weeks to claim his body before deciding what to do with it.
Malaysian authorities say Kim Jong-nam died after two women smeared his face with the banned VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur's airport on February 13, but North Korea rejects the findings.
Pyongyang has demanded the body back from day one and objected to Malaysia's autopsy. It also has refused to acknowledge that Kim Jong-nam was the victim and has referred to him as Kim Chol, the name on the passport Kim was carrying when he was attacked in a crowded airport terminal.
On Friday, Malaysian police confirmed that Kim Chol and Kim Jong-nam was the same person, but refused to say how they identified Kim. The body is being kept at a morgue at a Kuala Lumpur hospital.
This file photo shows Kim Jong-nam, Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, in the southern Chinese city of Macau.
Since Kim's death, relations between the two countries have steadily deteriorated, with each expelling the other’s ambassador.
Last Tuesday, North Korea blocked all Malaysians from leaving the country until a "fair settlement" of the case was reached.
Malaysia then barred North Koreans from exiting its soil. Both countries have also scrapped visa-free travel for each other’s citizens.
Four of the seven North Korean suspects being sought by Malaysia are believed to have left the country the day Kim was killed. Police say the other three suspects, including a North Korean diplomat, are believed to be in hiding at the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
The attack was caught on surveillance video that showed two women going up to Kim and apparently smearing something on his face. He was dead within 20 minutes, authorities say.
Two women - one Indonesian, one Vietnamese - have been charged with murder but say they were duped into thinking they were playing a harmless prank.

The Malaysian Airlines international passenger flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared in March 2014. Photo / 123rf
The Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 was carrying a mysterious extra passenger who probably took control of the cockpit before plunging it into the Indian Ocean, according to a new theory which has emerged on the same day a lawsuit was filed in the US on behalf of the families of 44 people on board the missing plane.
The Boeing 777, believed to be carrying 239 passengers and crew, vanished three years ago today.
It was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Malaysia, Australia and China finally suspended an enormous search in the southern Indian Ocean in January this year after failing to find any trace of the plane.
The plane's manifest had 228 passengers listed but a volunteer investigator, Andre Milne, claims to have uncovered signs of an extra passenger.

Milne told express.co.uk: "So now we have an 'extra' person on board MH370."He said the official record says 239 people were missing but he said there were officially 226 passengers - four having failed to board - and 12 crew, which makes 238.
He added: "The extra passenger likely acted in conjunction with larger external operational support to take full command and control of the cockpit of MH370."
A spokesman for the MH370 safety investigation team said: "We are aware of this discrepancy. The actual number of passengers on-board was 227."
He said the manifest, which listed 228 passengers, was actually a computerised load sheet which was transmitted about two hours before the aircraft's departure.
"The actual figures can differ from that transmitted on the load sheet due to last minute changes," he said.
A lawsuit filed against Boeing in a US District Court in South Carolina, names seven malfunctions, from an electrical fire to depressurisation of the plane's cabin, that could have led to the crew losing consciousness, the plane's transponder stopping its transmission and the plane flying undetected until it crashed after running out of fuel.
The suit was filed by Gregory Keith, a special administrator for families who lost loved ones on the flight. It names 44 victims as plaintiffs.
The lawsuit was filed in South Carolina because Boeing has built a massive new plant in the state to build the 787 Dreamliner.
The lawsuit notes that search efforts for the plane have ended and says the lack of finality has led to unprecedented levels of "economic and non-economic losses, emotional and physical pain, distress and mental pain and suffering" for the people on the airliner and their families. It does not ask for a specific amount of damages.
The lawsuit also says Boeing did not use technology which is available that would have allowed it to be tracked at all times and made the flight and cockpit voice recorders easier to find.
Boeing knew of design flaws on the aircraft, including defective wiring near combustible sources like the emergency oxygen supply to the plane's crew, says the lawsuit.
The lawsuit goes on to say: "The defects caused and/or allowed a massive and cascading sequence of electrical failures onboard the lost plane which disabled vital systems ... making it impossible for the crew to navigate the plane or for the plane to communicate with the ground stations leaving the aircraft to fly without the ability to communicate or control the aircraft until the plane ran out of fuel."
In March last year 12 Chinese families whose relatives were aboard the flight filed a lawsuit in Beijing.
It also named Boeing and jet engine manufacturer Rolls-Roys among the defendants.
Another lawsuit on behalf of the families of 32 passengers was filed in Kuala Lumpur.
A Malaysian woman and her two young sons also sued the airline, seeking damages of $7.6million for the loss of her husband, S Puspanathan.
An Australian-based woman, Jennifer Chong, whose husband Chong Ling Tan was on the flight, filed similar claims in Australia, alleging the airline was negligent in failing to ensure passengers' safety.
The families of four more Australian passengers are seeking $200,000 (£165,000) compensation from Malaysia Airlines, according to documents filed in the Federal Court of Australia in April 2016.
In June 2016, two Malaysian boys whose father, Jee Jing Hang, was a passenger secured an out-of-court settlement in the first legal case against Malaysia Airlines and the government.
Boeing spokesman Tom Kim said it does not comment on pending lawsuits but the company said its thoughts remained with the people who died on Flight MH370.

Video has emerged of a man claiming to be the son of Kim Jong Nam
Video has emerged of a man claiming to be the son of the slain, estranged half- brother of North Korea's leader, who says he is lying low with his mother and sister.
The video was posted online by a group that said it helped rescue them after Kim Jong Nam's murder a month ago following an emergency request by family members for "extraction and protection".
The governments of Netherlands, China, the US and a fourth unnamed country provided emergency assistance to protect the family, the group, called Cheollima Civil Defense, said in a statement released on Wednesday along with the video.
An official at South Korea's National Intelligence Service said the man in the video was Kim Han-sol, the 21-year-old son of Kim Jong-nam, who was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13 by assassins who Malaysian police say used a super-toxic nerve agent.

"I'm currently with my mother and my sister," he says, without disclosing his location or who he was living with.During the 40-second video, the man says his father was killed a few days ago.
"We hope this gets better soon."
Reuters could not independently verify the video but the man closely resembled Kim Han-sol, who was last interviewed on camera in 2012 by former Finnish defence minister Elisabeth Rehn.
Kim Han-sol is the son of Kim Jong Nam's second wife, who had been living in the Chinese territory of Macau with Kim under Beijing's protection after the family went into exile a several years ago.
South Korean intelligence officers say North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had ordered the elimination of his elder half-brother.

A man attends the Day of Remembrance for MH370 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photos / AP
As families prepare to mark the third anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 today, the final resting place of the aircraft's main body remains a mystery.
So far, only minor wreckage has been found, meaning relatives of the victims are still uncertain of where their loved ones died.
"We do not want it to be the case that MH370 vanishes without a trace," said Grace Subathirai Nathan, a Malaysian lawyer whose mother was aboard the Boeing-777.
"Planes can be replaced, but 239 lives can't," she said.
The plane, which went missing on March 8, 2014 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
"As the days roll into weeks and weeks into months, it becomes less about finding closure and more about being something to learn from.

Noting that a new Boeing-777 costs around US$300 million, Nathan said the official search effort has so far cost only half of that - around US$150 million.We should not let something like this happen again," Nathan said.
It was halted in January after an underwater sweep of some 120,000 sq km turned up no signs of the plane's main body. Malaysia, Australia and China were jointly involved in carrying out the underwater search efforts.
Families say they are not ready to concede that the missing plane is hopelessly lost, even as they insist that governments should continue to finance search operations.
"We are going to continue the search if the governments don't resume it, and that will only be confirmed when the current findings and data have been analysed," Nathan said.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Joint Action Coordination Centre have been regularly updating families on their latest findings and data, the families say.
Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said last week at an MH370 remembrance event that funding was not an obstacle. He said financial support would be provided as long as there was credible new evidence regarding search areas.
A man writes a condolence message during the Day of Remembrance for MH370 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.













Until now, 27 pieces of debris - including two pieces found in South Africa two weeks ago - have been found with links to MH370.
Blaine Alan Gibson, a US private investigator, has privately led search efforts and has been involved in some debris findings.
"I just did it because it needed to be done and nobody else was doing it at that point," he told DPA.
"We need to know that when we get on a plane we are just not going to disappear," he said.
"If we are not looking underwater - right now that's not happening - we are not going to find the black boxes. We need to know the crash site and [we need to find] heavy underwater debris to solve this."
Families have been supportive of his efforts, Gibson said.
"They want the truth whatever it is, and I care about them. I care about their loved ones. They have become sort of my family and have been a great inspiration to me to solve this mystery," he said.

A member of the Royal Malaysian Police keeps watch past a police line drawn across the entrance to the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur on March 7, 2017, following a directive barring North Korean embassy staff from leaving the country. (Photo by AFP)
North Korea has barred Malaysian citizens from leaving the country, prompting Kuala Lumpur to quickly respond with a similar ban amid rising diplomatic tensions between the two sides over the assassination of the North Korean leader’s half-brother in Malaysia.
All Malaysian nationals in North Korea “will be temporarily prohibited from leaving the country until the incident that happened in Malaysia is properly solved,” the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced in a Tuesday report, citing the Foreign Ministry.
The latest row between Pyongyang and Kuala Lumpur – which have maintained strong relations for years – came following the killing of Kim Jong-nam last month by two women using a VX nerve agent at an airport in the Malaysian capital.
Malaysia has already charged the two women – an Indonesian and a Vietnamese – with murder. They face hanging if convicted.
Malaysia has not directly put the blame on North Korea for the assassination, but there is suspicion that Pyongyang had been behind the killing, an accusation strongly rejected by the North.
The Malaysian investigation into Kim’s death has also angered Pyongyang, which says the process is aimed at tarnishing its image. The diplomatic row has seen both sides declaring each other’s ambassadors as “persona non grata,” ordering them to leave.
Malaysian authorities have sought a number of North Korean citizens for questioning on the case, but they only detained one, whom they released and later deported for lack of evidence.
According to the KCNA report, the North Korean Foreign Ministry further expressed hope that the Malaysian government would resolve the matter in a “fair and timely manner based on goodwill.”
It went on to say that Malaysian diplomats and nationals in the North would be allowed to “conduct business and live normally” while the travel ban is in place.
Malaysia quick to retaliate User
Reacting to the ban, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak issued a statement and slammed Pyongyang’s “abhorrent act.”
A police line is seen drawn in front of North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur on March 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
“This abhorrent act, effectively holding our citizens hostage, is in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms,” the statement said.
Malaysia had already stopped visa-free travel for North Korean nationals following Kim’s assassination.
In a tit-for-tat move, Najib said he has also instructed the police “to prevent all North Korean citizens in Malaysia from leaving the country until we are assured of the safety and security of all Malaysians in North Korea.”
The Malaysian ban seems to be focused on Pyongyang’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur, where police say two of the North Korean suspects sought for Kim’s murder are holed up.
“How much longer do they want to hide in the embassy...it is a matter of time before they come out,” police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said.

File photo shows Malaysia’s ambassador to North Korea, Mohammad Nizan.
North Korea has labelled the Malaysian ambassador to Pyongyang as “persona non grata” and ordered him to leave the country “within 48 hours,” in an apparent tit-for-tat move after the Southeast Asian nation expelled the North’s top envoy in an unprecedented diplomatic row, which broke out between the two sides over the recent bizarre assassination of the North Korean leader’s half-brother in Kuala Lumpur.
“The Foreign Ministry of the DPRK [the Democratic People's Republic of Korea] notifies that” the expulsion of Mohammad Nizan, Malaysia's top envoy to Pyongyang, has been demanded “under a relevant article of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations,” said a brief statement carried by the official North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Monday.
Kuala Lumpur had already recalled Nizan “for consultations” on February 20, a week after Kim Jong-nam, the North Korean leader’s exiled half-brother, was attacked by two female assailants at the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The attackers, both of whom have been arrested, wiped some form of toxic liquid over Kim’s face. He died en route to the hospital.
Forensic research and autopsy on Kim’s body revealed that the female attackers had wiped the extremely toxic VX nerve agent over the victim’s face. The United Nations has declared VX a weapon of mass destruction.
Pyongyang has censured Malaysia for performing an “immoral and illegal” autopsy on the dead body of “a citizen” of North Korea “bearing a diplomatic passport” without acknowledging the dead man's identity. The country vehemently protested the probe and questioned its validity, claiming Malaysia is in cahoots with its enemies.
Expelled North Korean ambassador to Malaysia Kang Chol speaks to journalists outside the departure hall of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, on March 6, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
The KCNA report came shortly after Kang Chol, the North’s expelled envoy to Malaysia, flew home from Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Foreign Ministry had declared Kang as persona non grata on Saturday for his harsh attacks on the probe into the murder case and not apologizing. Pyongyang’s top envoy, however, fired his final salvo from the same airport where Kim was killed, lambasting what he called a “pre-targeted investigation by the Malaysian police.”
“They have conducted the autopsy without the consent and attendance of the DPRK embassy and later arrested a DPRK citizen without any clear evidence showing his involvement in the incident,” Kang further told reporters, as he was escorted by police to the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
“I express grave concern over the extreme measures taken by the Malaysian government, doing great harm to the bilateral relations which have a history of more than 40 years,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, for his part, rebuked Pyongyang for its treatment of Kuala Lumpur’s investigation into the case, describing Kang as “diplomatically rude.”
“They should have apologized. So based on principles, we have declared him persona non grata,” Najib said, defending his government’s decision. “There is no one who can undermine us or disrupt us as they please,” he further told reporters at parliament.
The file photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) and his murdered half-brother Kim Jong-nam.
In response to the North’s sharp critique of Malaysia’s probe into the controversial assassination case, Kuala Lumpur canceled visa-free entry for North Koreans last Thursday, citing “national security reasons.”
Meanwhile, Malaysia's soccer association says the government has prevented the national team from traveling to the North for a fixture because of security concerns. Kuala Lumpur had been scheduled to face Pyongyang on March 28 for the Asian Cup 2019 qualifying match.
South Korea's police claim that Kim was killed by North Korean agents, an allegation that Kuala Lumpur has yet neither confirmed nor denied. Pyongyang, however, has flatly denied Seoul's allegations.
The assassination of Kim and subsequent developments have greatly soured relations between Malaysia and North Korea, which had had warm and full mutual ties, and seems likely to lead to an all-out diplomatic rift.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman (Photo by AFP)
Malaysia has expelled North Korea’s ambassador to Kuala Lumpur for criticizing an investigation into the assassination of the North Korean leader’s exiled half brother, saying the envoy must leave Malaysia within the “next 48 hours.”
Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said in a statement released late on Saturday that he had declared Kang Chol “persona non grata” and that Kuala Lumpur had not yet received an apology over the North’s attack on its probe into the case, even though it had demanded one earlier in the week.
"The expulsion of the DPRK [the Democratic People's Republic of Korea] ambassador is... an indication of the government's concern that Malaysia may have been used for illegal activities," the statement said.
Kim Jong-nam, the North Korean leader’s half brother, was attacked by two female assailants at the departure hall of Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13. The attackers, both of whom have been arrested, wiped some form of toxic liquid over Kim’s face. He died en route to the hospital.
Later forensic research and autopsy on Kim’s body revealed that the female attackers had wiped the extremely toxic VX nerve agent over the victim’s face. The United Nations has declared VX a weapon of mass destruction.

The file photo shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) and his murdered half brother Kim Jong-nam.
North Korea has censured Malaysia for performing an "immoral and illegal" autopsy on the dead body of "a citizen" of North Korea "bearing a diplomatic passport" without acknowledging the dead man's identity. Pyongyang has also vehemently protested the probe and questioned its validity, claiming Malaysia is in cahoots with its enemies.
In response, Malaysia canceled visa-free entry for North Koreans on Thursday and recalled its envoy to Pyongyang. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the decision on visa had been taken for "national security reasons."
The Malaysian top diplomat also said his country "will react strongly against any insults made against it or any attempt to tarnish its reputation."
South Korea's police have already claimed that Kim was killed by North Korean agents, an allegation that Kuala Lumpur has yet neither confirmed nor denied. Pyongyang, however, flatly denied Seoul's allegations on February 23.
The assassination of Kim and subsequent developments have soured relations between Malaysia and North Korea, which had warm and full mutual ties, and seem likely to lead to an all-out diplomatic rift.

North Korean national Ri Jong-chol (C) is escorted by Malaysian police to be handed over to immigration officials for deportation, March 3, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
A North Korean national suspected of murdering the half-brother of the country’s leader says he has fallen victim to a “conspiracy” by Malaysian authorities, who seek to harm Pyongyang’s dignity.
Ri Jong-chol, who is among eight North Koreans accused of being behind the February assassination of Kim Jong-nam at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, made the comments to journalists outside Pyongyang’s embassy in Beijing, China, on Friday.
He was in the Chinese capital on his way back to North Korea after he was released by Malaysian officials, who cited insufficient evidence.
The 47-year-old suspect denied any involvement in the killing and accused Malaysia of using coercion to try to extract a confession from him.
Ri said Malaysian police had presented him with “fabricated evidence” and promised he would be rewarded with a comfortable life in the Southeast Asian country if he confessed.
The suspect said police had also threatened to kill his family after showing him pictures of his wife and two children in detention.
“These men kept telling me to admit to the crime, and if not, my whole family would be killed, and you too won't be safe. If you accept everything, you can live a good life in Malaysia,” said Ri, adding, I realized that this is a conspiracy, plot, to try to damage the status and honor of the republic.”
Malaysian police arrested Ri back on February 17, four days after Kim Jong-nam— the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un — was murdered.
Ri declared that he was not at the airport on the day of the killing, and knew nothing about the accusation that his car had been used in the case.
Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
Jong-nam was attacked by two female assailants as he was walking through the departure hall at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. He died en route to hospital.
His assassination, which, according to Malaysia was conducted with a banned toxic chemical, has sparked a diplomatic row between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang. The dispute has prompted Malaysia to recall its envoy to Pyongyang and cancel a visa-free travel deal with North Korea.
North Korean officials have demanded that Kim’s body be handed over and no autopsy be conducted on his body. Malaysia refused to turn the body over and went on to carry out an autopsy.
Pyongyang later accused Malaysia of being in cahoots with the North’s long-time adversary, South Korea.  
Kim, who attended school in Russia and Switzerland, was a computer enthusiast and fluent Japanese speaker. After completing his overseas studies, he oversaw North Korea’s information technology policy. He fell from grace in 2001, however, and had been living in exile since 2003. He was reportedly an occasional critic of Pyongyang, advocating reform.

North Korea claim Kim Jong Nam, pictured here in 2001, died of a heart attack. Photo / AP
North Korea has rejected a Malaysian autopsy finding that VX nerve agent killed Kim Jong Nam, saying he probably died of a heart attack because he suffered from heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.
The death of Kim, the estranged half brother of North Korea's ruler, has unleashed a diplomatic battle between Malaysia and North Korea.
The autopsy is especially sensitive because North Korea had asked Malaysia not to perform one, but authorities carried it out anyway, saying they were following the law.
Also on Thursday, amid growing fallout from the killing, Malaysia announced it is scrapping visa-free entry for North Koreans.
Ri Tong Il, former North Korean deputy ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to journalist outside the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo / AP
Malaysian officials say two women smeared VX nerve agent - a banned chemical weapon - on Kim's face as he waited for a flight at Kuala Lumpur's airport on February 13.

The women, who were caught on grainy surveillance video, have been charged with murder. Both say they were duped into thinking they were playing a harmless prank.Kim died within 20 minutes, authorities say. No bystanders reported falling ill.
Malaysia's autopsy finding that VX nerve agent killed Kim boosted speculation that North Korea orchestrated the attack. Experts say the oily poison was almost certainly produced in a sophisticated state weapons laboratory. North Korea has denied any role and accused Malaysia of bias.
Yesterday, Ri Tong-il, the former North Korean deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told a news conference that it made no sense to say the two women used such a deadly toxin without also killing or sickening themselves and people around them.
Indonesian suspect Siti Aisyah, is escorted by police officers out from Sepang court. Photo / AP













Ri said Kim had a history of heart problems and had been hospitalised in the past. He said he understood that Malaysian officials found medication for diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure in Kim's belongings and concluded he wasn't fit to travel.
"This is a strong indication that the cause of death is a heart attack," Ri said.
North Korea does not acknowledge that it was Kim Jong Nam who died. Instead, it refers to the victim as Kim Chol, the name on the diplomatic passport he was carrying.
National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar brushed off Ri's claim of a heart attack.
"We have our experts who are qualified to determine the cause of death of Kim Chol. Our investigations, supported by expert reports, confirmed that Kim Chol was murdered. North Korea can say what they like but the facts remain," Khalid told AP.
Vietnamese suspect Doan Thi Huong is escorted from court by police. Photo / AP
Malaysian police said the attackers knew what they were doing and had been trained to go immediately to the bathroom and wash their hands. Police can't confirm whether the two women may have been given antidotes before the attack.
It comes as Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the visa-free arrangement with North Korea will be scrapped starting on Monday for national security reasons.
He also slammed the North Korean ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, who has accused Malaysia of "trying to conceal something" and "colluding with hostile forces."
"We don't want to make enemies, but if they had used Malaysia for their own agenda, they should not accuse Malaysia and tarnish our image on the international stage," Zahid said. "We will act firmly to guarantee the safety of our people. Don't ever use Malaysia as a base to do anything you like."

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