Cause of Kim death unclear: Malaysia

Malaysian officials say a cause of death has not yet been determined for the half brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un who died after apparently being poisoned in a Kuala Lumpur airport.


Noor Hisham Abdullah, the country’s director general of health, told reporters on Tuesday that the autopsy showed no evidence of a heart attack in Kim Jong Nam’s death, or sign of puncture wounds on his body.

Medical specimens have been forwarded to experts, who will determine the cause of death.

“We have to confirm with the lab report before we can make any conclusive remark,” he said.

Meanwhile Vietnamese state media confirmed that one of the suspects in the killing was a Vietnamese passport holder.

Doan Thi Huong, the 28-year-old arrested on suspicion of being involved in the Kim killing, was reportedly carrying a Vietnamese passport at the time of her arrest on February 16.

The Vietnamese embassy in Kuala Lumpur is trying to clarify the circumstances surrounding her arrest in collaboration with Malaysian authorities, the Vietnam News Agency reported, but they have apparently not been able to gain access to her yet.

Also on Tuesday, local newspaper Thanh Nien claimed to have found police documents in Huong’s home province of Namh Ninh verifying that a passport was issued with the same name and birthdate as Huong.

No family members have come forward to claim the body, Noor said later.

The older half brother of North Korea’s ruler, Kim had spent most of the past 15 years living in China and Southeast Asia.

The attack spiralled into diplomatic fury when Malaysia refused to hand over Kim’s corpse to North Korean diplomats and proceeded with at least one autopsy over the diplomats’ objections. The two nations have made a series of increasingly angry statements, with Malaysia saying it was following its legal protocols, and North Korea insisting Malaysia is working in collusion with its enemy South Korea.

Police have so far arrested four people carrying identity documents from North Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Those arrested include two women who were allegedly seen approaching Kim on February 13 as he stood at a ticketing kiosk at the budget terminal of Kuala Lumpur airport.

Surveillance video, obtained by Japan’s Fuji TV and often grainy and blurred, seems to show the two women approaching Kim Jong Nam from different directions that morning. One comes up behind him and appears to hold something over his mouth for a few seconds.

Then the women turn and calmly walk off in different directions. More video shows Kim walking up to airport workers and security officials, gesturing at his eyes and seemingly asking for help. He then walks alongside as they lead him to the airport clinic.