Four North Korean suspects who are accused of involvement in last week’s murder of Kim Jong Nam possibly took a P-632 Air Koryo flight on Friday from Vladivostok as part of their return to Pyongyang from Malaysia, records indicate.
During a phone call with NK News on Monday morning, the office of Air Koryo at Vladivostok International Airport (Kievichi Airport), confirmed that a flight left for Pyongyang on Friday last week.
“Yes, it is correct, P-632 have flown from Vladivostok to Pyongyang on February 17,” a North Korean official working at the Air Koryo office at Kievichi Airport told NK News.
However, the official refused to confirm if the four suspects were onboard, later hanging up several phone calls.
Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) on Sunday named Ri Ji Hyon, Hong Sang Hac, O Jong Gil and Ri Jae Nam as four of several North Korean suspects who have been linked to last week’s murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Soon after the announcement, multiple international reports said that the four arrived in Pyongyang on February 17, last Friday, transferring at three different international airports across Asia.
“They arrived back in Pyongyang on February 17. The route they took was Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta-Dubai-Vladivostok-Pyongyang,” an unnamed senior police source told Channel NewsAsia, with other outlets echoing these reports.
“They may have taken the long route to shake off the authorities,” a source told local outlet The Star.
P-632 is the registration number of an Aircraft Model T204-300 which belongs to Air Koryo, North Korea’s state-owned national airline. Twice a week, on Monday and Friday, the plane departs from Vladivostok to Pyongyang. The flight takes roughly 100 minutes.
The only plane found on the public record that left from Vladivostok and arrived Pyongyang on Friday last week was P-632, flight number JS272 or KOR272, which departed at 1325 local time.
NK News asked a North Korean official at the Air Koryo office at Vladivostok International Airport if the four suspects were onboard the P-632.
“It is not on the record,” the male official said, insisting that NK News contact the office later in the day so that they could work on the inquiry.
However, later in the afternoon when NK News called the office again, the North Korean office picked up the phone twice, but hung up soon after.
P-632 from Air Koryo was one of 16 North Korean aircraft sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in December last year.
Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons, P-632
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