kazanherald.com January 22, 2018

North Korean embassy counsellor keeps mum over Ri Jong Chol deportation

05 March 2017, 02:26 | Darin Schmidt

North Korea's embassy in Kuala Lumpur has become ground zero in its high-profile diplomatic row with Malaysia over the murder of Kim Jong Nam, providing a rare glimpse into the workings of the reclusive regime.

Shocking pictures show Kim Jong-nam slumped in a chair having been poisoned.

"Malaysia will react strongly against any insults made against it or any attempt to tarnish its reputation", the ministry said in a press statement.

Yu-Song, who arrived at about 10am, spent about two hours at Immigration, where he is believed to have facilitated the deportation process of Jong-chol, the North Korean citizen detained as part of a probe into the murder of Kim Jong-nam.

Amid growing fallout from the killing, Malaysia announced it is scrapping visa-free entry for North Koreans.

North Korea's official news agency called that finding the "height of absurdity" on Wednesday, saying the two women could not have used such a deadly toxin without killing or sickening themselves and anyone around them.

Kang later accused Malaysian officials of officials of conspiring with "hostile forces" during the investigation, eliciting a harsh rebuke from his host country.

"Malaysia categorically rejects any such insinuation", the country's foreign ministry said in a statement.

"According to Jenkins, he saw a picture of Yoke Fun (one of the women who disappeared in Singapore) and remember meeting a similar woman at an amusement park in Pyongyang between 1980 and 1981", said Ebihara.

In response, Malaysia has cancelled a visa-free travel deal with North Korea and recalled its envoy to Pyongyang.

Last December, 18 North Korean companies participated in the 13th Malaysia International Branding Showcase, CEO of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corp Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud told local media.

Meanwhile, Malaysian prosecutors plan to release and deport Ri Jong-chol, 47, who was arrested in connection with Kim's death.

Glocom, which was linked in website registration data to two Malaysian companies controlled by North Korean shareholders and directors, sells battlefield radio equipment in violation of United Nations sanctions, according to a United Nations report submitted to the Security Council and seen by Reuters. The victim was seen stumbling into a clinic and died within 20 minutes of the assault. Swabs of the dead man's face revealed traces of VX nerve agent.

The nuclear-armed North was first designated a state sponsor of terrorism by the USA in 1987 when its agents bombed a South Korean plane killing all 115 on board. The sanctions resolution is meant to cut off North Korea's access to hard currency by imposing a cap on Pyongyang's exports of coal.

Media reported earlier this week that Glocom, a front company run by the DPRK, sold battlefield radio equipment in Malaysia, with a member of Malaysia's ruling party UMNO as its director.

Up to 1,000 North Koreans now work in Malaysia and their remittances are a valuable source of foreign currency for the isolated regime.

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