About the Author
JH Ahn was an NK News contributor based in Seoul. He previously worked as an interpreter for United States Forces Korea.
North Korean state-run media for the first time responded to Kim Jong Nam’s murder on Thursday morning, ten days after his assault at the budget carrier terminal of Kuala Lumpur International airport.
The statement denied all accusations that were brought up against the DPRK government about its possible involvement in the case so far.
“A citizen of our Republic (North Korea) who holds a diplomatic passport died in Malaysia on the 13th, suddenly falling in shock before boarding a plane,” a Korean language KCNA release said. “The person died on the way to the hospital.”
Notably, the KCNA did not specify who the person was, neither saying the name Kim Chol, an alias believed to be used by Kim Jong Nam, or the suspected real name of the deceased.
North Korea’s domestic and web-based media have so far remained silent over the past ten days.
“Initially, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry and the hospital…confirmed to our embassy that the cause of death was heart shock… so our embassy requested to identify the dead and transfer the body,” KCNA said.
“However, on that night, the South Korean conservative media claimed to have heard the news from ‘government officials,’ insisting that some party could have ‘poisoned’ the person,” the statement continued. “Soon after that, the Malaysian secret police intervened, and took it (the South Korean claim) as a fait accompli.”
The announcement, released under the name of “the Chosun Commission of Jurists,” claimed that the South Korean media’s agile reaction to the case hinted that that the Seoul government had prepared a “script” on how media should react to the murder case.
Demanding the Malaysian government transfer the body to the DPRK immediately, the KCNA report also refuted the Royal Malaysian Police’s investigation results.
“What is even more absurd is that the murder suspects have said the dead was poisoned by an ‘oil-like liquid that was squeezed on their hands,'” the statement said.
“But how can such a type of poison exist, in which a woman coated with it on her hands lives, yet the one plastered with it dies?”
“We have already clarified that we are ready to send our jurists…. our demand is to send our professionals to the location, listen to what the murder suspects have to say, and clarify who they were instructed by….”
Dagyum Ji contributed to this report
Featured Image: Kim Jong Nam Facebook