North Korea demands Malaysia return Kim Jong-nam's body immediately

Secretive state objects to post-mortem, but autopsy performed anyway

Harriet Agerholm
Wednesday 15 February 2017 18:22 GMT
Kim Jong-nam went into hiding in Malaysia after the execution of his uncle Jang Sung-thaek
Kim Jong-nam went into hiding in Malaysia after the execution of his uncle Jang Sung-thaek (Getty)

North Korea has demanded Malaysia immediately return the body of Kim Jong-nam - its leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother - following his apparent assassination.

A post-mortem was reportedly performed at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, where Mr Kim was rushed after he collapsed in the Malaysian capital's International Airport en route to boarding a flight, police sources said.

This took place despite North Korean objections about an autopsy taking place.

However, the police sources added that, officials from the secretive communist state had been to the hospital and were coordinating with Malaysian authorities.

CCTV shows woman arrested in connection with Kim Jong-nam murder wearing LOL t-shirt

South Korea's National Assembly Intelligence Committee Chairman, Lee Cheol Woo, told a press briefing that Mr Kim was believed to have been poisoned, although the cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

Mr Kim, who had not passed through airport security when he collapsed, was travelling to Macau, China.

He was once thought of as the likely successor to his father Kim Jong-il, but after falling out of favour in 2001, he had been living in exile. He had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of the isolated state.

Instead, his half brother Kim Jong-un inherited the North Korean leadership on their father's passing 2011.

Malaysian police have detained a woman holding Vietnamese travel papers in relation to the killing.

Police said she was identified from CCTV footage at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. She was alone when she was apprehended.

She was carrying documents bearing the name, Doan Thi Huong, Malaysian, officials said. It showed a May 1998 date of birth and birthplace of Nam Dinh, Vietnam, they added.

Local media had earlier published a grainy CCTV image of a young woman wearing a white shirt with the letters "LOL" on the front. It is unclear whether this was the same woman.

"Police are looking for a few others, all foreigners," Deputy Inspector-General Noor Rashid Ibrahim said, declining to give their nationalities or gender.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in