Foreign minister plans Southeast Asia tour following N. Korean assassination in Malaysia

Foreign minister plans Southeast Asia tour following N. Korean assassination in Malaysia

Foreign minister plans Southeast Asia tour following N. Korean assassination in Malaysia

Malaysia's Foreign Ministry ramped up the pressure on Friday, saying it was "greatly concerned" about the use of the nerve agent.

Malaysia's investigation into the killing has sparked diplomatic tension with North Korea, and on Tuesday a high-ranking delegation arrived in Kuala Lumpur from Pyongyang in a bid to claim the body.

Malaysian authorities have said there's insufficient evidence to charge Ri over Kim Jong Nam's killing at Kuala Lumpur's airport on February 13. The autopsy revealed traces of VX nerve agent, a banned weapon of mass destruction.

Speaking to reporters outside the North Korean embassy in Beijing, Ri Jong Chol, a North Korean, accused the Malaysian government on Saturday of using coercion to extract information from him in detention.

He is the only North Korean to face questioning over the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian government has expelled North Korea's ambassador for criticising the investigation into the killing of Kim Jong Nam.

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Kang declined to apologize for his accusations over Malaysia's inquiry into of Kim Jong Nam's murder February 13 at the Kuala Lumpur airport.

Only one has been apprehended, a man named Ri Jong Chol, who was released on Friday due to insufficient evidence and set to be deported after a week in custody.

Malaysia on Saturday rejected any suggestion it may have violated sanctions imposed by the United Nations on North Korea, after a Reuters report said North Korea-linked firms were running an arms network in the country.

He has also said that the North "cannot trust" Malaysia with the investigation, accusing them of "colluding with outside forces".

Kang's expulsion order came the same day that the only North Korean arrested over the assassination denounced Malaysia's probe as "a conspiracy to impair the dignity of the Republic (North Korea)".

Both women have reportedly said they thought they were part of a prank TV show when they put their hands on Kim.

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Immigration Director-General Mustafar Ali confirmed that Ri had flown out of the country, escorted by two North Korean Embassy officials, and that "he is blacklisted from entering Malaysia".

Although the incident has sparked widespread speculation about the stability of the North Korean regime, McLaughlin cautioned against drawing conclusions.

Police say he suffered a seizure and died less than 20 minutes later, without reaching hospital.

In response, Malaysia has cancelled a rare visa-free travel deal with North Korea - a key conduit to the outside world - and recalled its envoy to Pyongyang, putting the skids under once cozy ties. North Korea is widely believed to possess VX and other chemical weapons.

He added that he was "not afraid of terrifying threats (from North Korea)".

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