World

Najib: North Korean envoy was diplomatically rude

North Korea cannot trust Malaysia's probe into Kim's death, says ambassador

KUALA LUMPUR: "Diplomatically rude" was how Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday described comments by the North Korean ambassador.

He had cast doubts over a Malaysian investigation into the death of the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader.

"But Malaysia will stand firm," Mr Najib said.

North Korean ambassador Kang Chol had said his country "cannot trust" Malaysia's handling of the probe into the death.

Mr Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport last week. South Korean and US officials believe he was assassinated by North Korean agents.

Yesterday, armed men were seen at the morgue holding the body, with officials denying reports that the dead man's son had arrived to claim the remains.

Mr Kim's corpse has been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Pyongyang and Malaysia, after the North insisted it be returned and objected to an autopsy being performed.

But Malaysia rejected the request, saying it must stay in the morgue until a family member identified it with a DNA sample.

Mr Kim's son, Mr Kim Han Sol, was due to arrive in Kuala Lumpur from Macau on Monday night, local media and intelligence sources said, but AFP was unable to confirm his presence in the city.

No family member has come forward to claim the body yet, said director-general of health Noor Hisham Abdullah. (See report at right).

"We're still waiting for next of kin to come to us," he said, adding that an autopsy report was still pending more than a week after the murder.

In the early hours yesterday, a convoy of four unmarked vehicles was seen entering the hospital compound where they dropped off dozens of Malaysian special forces.

They were later replaced by private security officers.

A white police van was seen leaving the complex at 4am.

Pyongyang's envoy to Kuala Lumpur on Monday dismissed Malaysia's request for a DNA sample as "preposterous" and said the embassy has the right to claim the body of a diplomatic passport holder. - AFP

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