The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday said the death of a DPRK citizen at Kuala Lumpur last week was an “anti-DPRK conspiratorial racket” launched by South Korea.
A spokesman for the Korean Jurists Committee said an 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 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.
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 South Korea “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 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.
Malaysian police Wednesday reiterated that a DNA test would be needed to identify the dead man from the DPRK before the body could be released. But the DPRK spokesman called the request an “absurd pretext.”
“Malaysia is obliged to hand his body to the DPRK side as it made an autopsy and forensic examination of it in an illegal and immoral manner,” the spokesman said in the statement, adding that this proves that Malaysia wants to politicize the transfer of the body to the DPRK in disregard of international law and morality and attain “a sinister purpose.”
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.
Up till now, no next-of-kin of the deceased man has showed up to help authorities carry out DNA identification, a key step in determining the identity, said Malaysian officials. Enditem