North Korea denied responsibility on Thursday for Kim Jong-nam’s death, accusing the Malaysian authorities of fabricating evidence of Pyongyang’s involvement under the influence of the North’s archrival, South Korea. The statement from the Jurists Committee was cited by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, in the first comment on the killing from the North’s official news media.
With the North’s reclusive government on the defensive about the Feb. 13 killing of Mr. Kim, the estranged half brother of the country’s leader, a statement attributed to the North Korean Jurists Committee said that the greatest share of responsibility for the death “rests with the government of Malaysia” because he died there. And in what could be seen as a threat to Malaysia, the statement noted that North Korea is a “nuclear weapons state.”
And in a case that has been filled with mysteries and odd plot twists, North Korea still would not acknowledge that the man killed was indeed Kim Jong-nam. And it gave no indication that it would agree to Malaysia’s demands to question a senior staff member at the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur in the investigation into Mr. Kim’s death.
The Malaysian authorities have said that four North Koreans were believed to have directed the attack and that they fled to their homeland after it was carried out. On Wednesday, the Malaysian police said they were seeking to question an official at the North Korean Embassy, Hyon Kwang Song, in the case.
Channel NewsAsia, a Singaporean news agency, reported on Thursday that Mr. Hyon had been recorded on closed circuit cameras at the airport after the killing, seeing off the four North Koreans as they boarded a flight on the journey back to their homeland.
[New York Times]