North Korea warned Saturday the USA will “pay dearly” if it puts Pyongyang on a terror list over the killing of its leader’s half-brother, as a suspect in the murder claimed he was the victim of a conspiracy.
Ri was detained on February 17, four days after Kim, the older estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was killed by two women at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, the Malaysian capital’s budget air terminal.
Malaysia “is in close contact” with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to investigate the recent incident, the ministry said, adding the country “does not produce, stockpile, import, export or use” such prohibited toxic chemicals as VX.
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With seven other North Korean men believed to be involved in the incident still at large, the release of Ri underscores the difficulty investigators face piecing together the February 13 killing, observers said.
Ahmad Zahid said Jong-chol, 47, who is now held at the Immigration Department detention depot, will be flown to Beijing this evening and later to Pyongyang, accompanied by two officials from the North Korean Embassy.