Kim Jong Nam's Body Traded for 9 Malaysians in North Korea

01 April 2017, 01:37 | Isaac Mcdaniel

Kim Jong-Nam, the elder half-brother of the North's young, unpredictable leader Kim Jong-Un, was killed at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Feburary 13 in a freaky assassination using VX nerve agent, a chemical so lethal the United Nations has listed it as a weapon of mass destruction.

Malaysian prosecutors have charged two women - from Indonesia and Vietnam - with killing Kim Jong-nam, but South Korean and USA officials regard them as pawns in an operation carried out by North Korean agents.

China confirmed that the body had arrived in Pyongyang - after transiting through Beijing - along with "relevant" North Korean nationals.

"Thus, we hope North Korea will no longer raise such problems as this could jeopardise diplomatic relations between the two countries", he told Malaysian reporters in Chennai at the conclusion of his two-day visit today.

Malaysia's police chief declined to say who in Kim Jong Nam's family wrote the letter asking that his body be brought back to North Korea.

"In the beginning we said we would like them to assist in the investigation and we have allowed them to go", Khalid told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur.

The matter was however part of the agreement reached with North Korea, that is, the police must be allowed to interview and interrogate them and North Korea had allowed this to be carried out, he added.

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North Korea has maintained that the dead man is not Kim Jong-nam, saying instead the body is that of Kim Chol, which was the name on the victim's passport.

The Malaysians were three embassy staff and six family members, including a small baby and three other children, landed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport before sunrise where they were met on the tarmac by foreign minister Anifah Aman.

King Jong-Nam was the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, but was passed over in favour of his younger sibling, Kim Jong-Un, after embarrassing his father.

But North Korea denies this, and has denounced Malaysia's investigation into the death as an attempt to smear the secretive regime.

Mr Khalid said he is "sure they know very well" who the man really is. The women reportedly believed they were participating in a television prank. When the swap was announced, Prime Minister Najib Razak also said a plane carrying the Malaysians had already taken off in Pyongyang.

North Korea had requested the body, but has not confirmed its identity.

Police believe four fled Malaysia on the same day as the murder and another was held for a week before being released due to insufficient evidence.

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