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Thursday, February 23, 2017, 15:20

Malaysia urges DPRK to cooperate over man's death

By Xinhua

Malaysia urges DPRK to cooperate over man's death
This screengrab made from CCTV footage obtained by Fuji TV and taken on Feb 13, 2017 shows Kim Jong-nam (C in grey suit), half-brother of the DPRK's leader Kim Jong-un, speaking to airport authorities at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Kuala Lumpur. The DPRK on Feb 23, 2017, said the death of a DPRK citizen at Kuala Lumpur last week was an "anti-DPRK conspiratorial racket" launched by the Republic of Korea (ROK). (AFP / Fuji TV)

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian police have sent a formal request to the embassy of the Democratic Peoples's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to interview a second secretary believed to be involved in the death of a DPRK man, said Malaysian police chief on Thursday.

"We have sent our request letter through the proper channel, that is the foreign affairs ministry, and from the ministry to the embassy," the police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters when asked about how to secure the cooperation of a foreign diplomat, who is entitled to diplomatic immunity.

The man died on the way from a Malaysian airport to hospital. Malaysian police identified him as Kim Chol from the DPRK. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said embassy documents showed the man was Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of the DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un, but that was denied by the DPRK ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol.

Bakar said Malaysia has followed the protocol and rules pertaining to foreign expatriates.

He added that Malaysia has applied to the International Criminal Police Organization, or the Interpol to help nab the four DPRK suspects who have fled the country.

He also noted that Malaysia did not send any samples (of the deceased) anywhere, nor did it receive any DNA samples from any country.

READ MORE: Malaysian cops reiterate need for DNA test before releasing DPRK man's body

DPRK sees citizen's death as ROK plot

Meanwhile, the DPRK said the death of the DPRK citizen was an "anti-DPRK conspiratorial racket" launched by the Republic of Korea (ROK).

The DPRK also blamed the Malaysian side for showing unfriendly attitude when handling the case, the official news agency KCNA reported on Thursday.

A spokesman for the Korean Jurists Committee said the autopsy was unnecessary as the death had been confirmed as caused by a heart stroke and the deceased man carried a diplomatic passport, according to the KCNA.

The incident was "undisguised encroachment upon the sovereignty of the DPRK, a wanton human rights abuse and an act contrary to human ethics and morality," the KCNA quoted a statement from the unnamed spokesman.

The spokesman claimed that the ROK "worked out the scenario" and released false reports that the man was poisoned to death.

"It is regretful that only Malaysia is denying such fact," he added.

The spokesman also criticized the Malaysian side for conducting an autopsy without any prior agreement with the DPRK or its presence, in disregard of the just demand from the DPRK and international law.

The statement repeated that the DPRK was ready to send a delegation of jurists to Malaysia for a joint investigation into the case, which was proposed by the DPRK ambassador to Malaysia at a press conference.

Four suspects, including a Vietnamese woman, an Indonesian woman, a Malaysian male and a DPRK male, have been arrested so far, according to Malaysian police. However, the cause of death is yet to be determined by lab results.

READ MORE: 4 DPRK suspects related to DPRK man’s death fled Malaysia

Malaysia urges DPRK to cooperate over man's death
A TV screen shows pictures of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s leader Kim Jong-un and his older brother Kim Jong-nam, left, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, the ROK, Feb 14, 2017. (AP / Ahn Young-joon)

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