Malaysians return, Kim Jong Nam's body handed to North Korea

Malaysians return, Kim Jong Nam's body handed to North Korea

Kim, who had been living in exile for several years, was killed at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Feb.13 in a freaky assassination using VX nerve agent, a chemical so lethal that it is on a United Nations list of weapons of mass destruction.

Kim Jong-nam was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13th after two women smeared VX nerve agent on his face.

The nine Malaysians who had been barred from leaving North Korea in the wake of the dispute returned home after Pyongyang and Kuala Lumpur reached an agreement over transferring the body of the North Korean leader's half-brother, Kim Jong-nam.

The two women, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese national, have been charged with his murder under Section 302 of the penal code, which carries the death penalty under local law.

In a statement on Thursday, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said that after "very sensitive" negotiations, Malaysia agreed to release Kim's body, which Kuala Lumpur was refusing to hand over to North Korean officials because they had not been cooperative in the Malaysian investigation of Kim's killing.

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"We managed to secure their release despite North Korea making hard demands", he said.

North Korea has denied any role in the killing and denounced the investigation as flawed and politically motivated.

Prosecutors have charged two women - an Indonesian and a Vietnamese national - with killing him, but they are seen by South Korean and USA officials as pawns in an operation carried out by North Korean agents.

Thursday's political deal also secured the release of ordinary citizens who had been caught up in the diplomatic fight. Malaysia responded in kind, barring North Koreans from exiting its soil, including three suspects believed to be hiding in the North Korean Embassy.

Najib's statement did not mention the safe passage given to the North Koreans that police had wanted to question, but it did say the travel ban on North Koreans leaving Malaysia had been lifted.

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All the Malaysian citizens departed from Pyongyang at 7.45 pm yesterday and arrived safely at the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 5.03 am today.

Kim Jong-nam's death brought down a storm of suspicion on Pyongyang, landing them in a row with Malaysia.

North Korea was so enraged by Malaysia's investigation that it announced earlier this month that Malaysians could not leave North Korea. "We will wait no matter how long it will take." he said.

Confronting one man, who wears sunglasses, the reporter says: "Did you take part in the assassination of Kim Jong-nam? No?" Malaysia said it held on to the body in order to formally identify the corpse, which it now says it has done, using DNA from Kim's son.

He also tries to confirm the identities of two of the North Koreans, asking if they are Hyon Kwang Song and Kim Uk Il.

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While it isn't one of North Korea's key diplomatic partners, Malaysia had been one of the few places in the world where North Koreans could travel without a visa. Kim's wife and children, who were living in exile in the Chinese territory of Macau, are believed to be in hiding after the murder.

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