Malaysia files warrant for N. Korean worker in Kim Jong Nam’s murder

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2007, file photo, a man believed to be Kim Jong Nam, eldest son of then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, is surrounded by the media upon arrival from Macau at Beijing airport in Beijing. Kim was assassinated at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, telling medical workers before he died that he had been attacked with a chemical spray a Malaysian official said Tuesday. (Kyodo News via AP, File)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian police say an arrest warrant has been issued for a North Korean airline employee accused in the fatal poisoning of the half brother of North Korea’s leader.

National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said Friday that the warrant was issued for 37-year-old Kim Uk Il, who works for Air Koryo, North Korea’s national carrier. Police say he arrived in Malaysia Jan. 29, about two weeks before Kim Jong Nam was attacked with the nerve agent VX in a Kuala Lumpur airport terminal.

Malaysian authorities have not said why they want to question Kim Uk Il.

A North Korean man, who had been held for questioning in the murder of Kim Jong Nam has been released from police custody and has been deported.

Ri Jong Chol was detained four days after Kim was killed at a Malaysian airport. Police didn’t say what they thought his role in the killing might have been. They said Ri would be deported because he had no valid travel document.

Immigration Director-General Mustafar Ali said Ri left on a flight from Malaysia, escorted by two North Korean Embassy officials, and that he is blacklisted from re-entering the country.

The family of Vietnamese woman charged with murder in the killing of Nam wants government help getting lawyers to defend her.

Doan Van Thanh, the father of Doan Thi Huong, said he met with Foreign Ministry representatives and requested their help in hiring the lawyers.

Huong together with an Indonesian woman were captured in surveillance video at the Kuala Lumpur airport where Kim Jong Nam was fatally poisoned on Feb. 13. They have been charged with murder, and Malaysia has appointed a Malaysian lawyer to defend Huong.

Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it is concerned about the use of a toxic chemical listed as a banned weapon that was used to kill Nam.

“Its use at a public place could have endangered the general public,” it said.

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