North Korean murder suspects flew home with body of Kim Jong Nam: Report | world-news | Hindustan Times
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North Korean murder suspects flew home with body of Kim Jong Nam: Report

Malaysia said on Thursday it agreed to release the body of murdered Kim Jong Nam to North Korea in exchange for the return of nine Malaysians held in the North's capital. Two of the murder suspects are believed to have accompanied the coffin.

world Updated: Mar 31, 2017 10:35 IST
One of the Malaysians who was stranded in Pyongyang walks down from a plane after arriving at Kuala Lumpur International airport in Sepang, Malaysia, on March 31, 2017.
One of the Malaysians who was stranded in Pyongyang walks down from a plane after arriving at Kuala Lumpur International airport in Sepang, Malaysia, on March 31, 2017. (AP Photo)

Two, possibly three, North Koreans wanted for questioning over the murder of the estranged half-brother of their country’s leader were believed to have accompanied the coffin of the victim on a flight from Kuala Lumpur after Malaysia agreed to a swap deal with the reclusive state.

Photographs obtained by Reuters from Japan’s Kyodo news agency show Hyon Kwang Song, the second secretary at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Kim Uk Il, a staff member of North Korea’s state airline Air Koryo were on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Thursday evening.

The pictures match those released by the Malaysian police earlier. The coffin carrying the body of Kim Jong Nam was also believed to have been on the same flight, though this has not been confirmed by authorities.

Malaysian media reported that the third North Korean, Ri Ji U, also known as James, who had been hiding with them at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur was also allowed to go home. The three men and the coffin are expected to be transferred to a flight to Pyongyang.

Malaysian authorities released the body Kim Jong Nam to North Korea on Thursday, in a deal that secured the release of nine Malaysian citizens held in Pyongyang after a drawn out diplomatic spat.