N Korea blames Malaysia for airport death

North Korea is accusing Malaysia of an "unfriendly attitude" over the alleged murder of a man thought to be the half-brother of DPRK leader Kim Jong-un.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

North Korea says Malaysia’s acts are timed to coincide with a "conspiratorial racket" launched by South Korea.

North Korea on Thursday blamed Malaysia for the death of one of its citizens last week and accused it of an "unfriendly attitude" in a "scenario drawn up by South Korea."

DPRK state-run media agency KCNA said Malaysia had initially informed Pyongyang that a person with a diplomatic passport had died of a heart attack at Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13.

The report came a day after Malaysian police sought access to a North Korean diplomat in Kuala Lumpur and several other suspects in connection with the alleged murder of a man thought to be Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of DPRK leader Kim Jong-un.

Malaysian investigators allege that two women - a Vietnamese and an Indonesian - poisoned him at the airport. 

North Korea denies that the dead man is Kim Jong-nam.

The country's embassy in Malaysia has also demanded that the "innocent" people detained in the case be released.

The biggest responsibility for his death rests with the government of Malaysia as the citizen of the DPRK died in its land - N Korea's state-run KCNA news agency

TRT World's Adam Reed has more on the ongoing spat between the two countries. 

"Conspiratorial racket"

KCNA, citing a spokesman for a state committee, said Malaysia changed its position on the dead man's identity and started to complicate the matter after reports surfaced in South Korea that he was poisoned to death.

"What merits more serous attention is the fact that the unjust acts of the Malaysian side are timed to coincide with the anti-DPRK conspiratorial racket launched by the South Korean authorities," KCNA said.

"The biggest responsibility for his death rests with the government of Malaysia as the citizen of the DPRK died in its land," KCNA said without naming the person.

Malaysia has denied North Korea's request for the body to be handed over to its embassy, saying it will release the body to his next of kin. Nobody has yet come forward.

Authorities want Kim's next-of-kin to provide DNA samples to confirm whether the dead man is the half-brother of the DPRK's current leader.

Malaysia has carried out an autopsy on the body, but has not released the results.

KCNA accused Malaysia of breaking international law by conducting "illegal and immoral" autopsies on the dead.

Interpol alert

Malaysia has asked Interpol to put out an alert for four North Korean suspects in the alleged assassination of Kim, Malaysia's police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said on Thursday. 

The suspects are believed to have fled Malaysia immediately after the incident. 

The police chief also denied reports that Malaysian police officers had been sent to Macau, the Chinese territory where Kim and his family had been living under Beijing's protection.

South Korea, backed by the US, accuses North Korea and its leader of orchestrating the murder.

TRTWorld and agencies