22Oktober2017

North Korea claims US, South Korea behind Jong Nam murder

North Korea is still denying that it ordered the execution of Kim Jong Nam, pointing the finger instead at the US and South Korea, whom it accuses of orchestrating the murder.

In a dispatch carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang said the US was one of the few countries that still possessed chemical weapons.

“Almost all countries have scrapped chemical weapons under the convention on (the) ban on chemical weapons but only the US and some other countries still possess the said substance,” it said.

“What is all the more problematic is the fact that the US is introducing into South Korea all kinds of chemical weapons.”

The dispatch also cited media reports that the two women suspects who were arrested and charged with Jong Nam’s murder had visited South Korea “several times in the past”.

“It is highly possible that the South Korean authorities let them carry the said substance. This is by no means fortuitous,” it said.

It also lashed out at the US and South Korea for “kicking up an anti-DPRK smear campaign”.

From the beginning, it said, South Korea had spread rumours that Jong Nam, whom it acknowledged only as Kim Chol, had been executed following North Korean orders.

This had caused confusion and driven a wedge between North Korea and Malaysia, it added.

Kim Chol was the name on the passport under which Jong Nam had been travelling.

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was waiting to board a flight at low-cost carrier airport klia2 in Sepang on Feb 13 when he was attacked by two female assailants.

Pyongyang has dismissed suggestions that it had a hand in the killing, and accused Malaysia of collaborating with “hostile forces”, the phrase normally used by the regime to describe neighbouring South Korea.

The women, Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong, were identified after an airport CCTV recording showed them attacking Jong Nam with a substance later found to be the dangerous VX nerve agent banned by the United Nations.

Yesterday, Siti Aisyah and Doan were charged with murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code. If found guilty, they face the mandatory death sentence.

Aside from the two women, police have also nabbed a Malaysian, Muhammad Farid Jallaludin, and North Korean citizen Ri Jong Chul to help in investigations into the murder.

Four other male suspects, all North Korean, fled the country on the same day of the murder. They have been identified as Ri Ji Hyon, Hong Song Hac, O Jong Gil and Ri Jae Nam.

Two other North Korean suspects, Hyon Kwang Song, who is the second secretary with the embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Air Koryo employee, Kim Uk Il, are also wanted by police to help in the investigations.-2/3/2017

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