Kim ‘ordered’ half-brother’s killing: Seoul

Seoul/Kuala Lumpur, Feb 27 (IANS) Two North Korean ministries orchestrated the plot to kill Kim Jong-nam on the orders of Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong-un, South Korea’s spy agency said on Monday.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) said four of the eight suspects behind the murder worked for Pyongyang’s Ministry of State Security, with two others being from the Foreign Ministry, Yonhap reported.

“The assassination of Kim Jong-nam was an act of systematic terror ordered by Kim Jong-un,” South Korean lawmaker Kim Byung-kee said in a televised address. “The operation was conducted with two assassination groups and one supporting group.”

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un died earlier this month after a suspected poisoning while on his way to catch a flight to Macau from Kuala Lumpur Airport. Malaysia said an autopsy showed he was poisoned with VX nerve agent and died within 20 minutes.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry slammed Pyongyang for using VX nerve agent, which is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

“We strongly condemned North Korea for using a chemical weapon against a civilian,” Jeong Joon-hee, a ministry spokesman, told a press briefing. “The government plans to take joint actions against Pyongyang with the international community.”

Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo said now is the time to make North Korea realise that it cannot sustain the regime with a reign of terror.

Meanwhile, Malaysia has requested the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur allow a diplomat and an airline employee to cooperate in a probe into the death of Kim Jong-nam, the news agency reported.

The Malaysian police said last week that Hyon Kwang-song, the second secretary at the embassy, and Kim Uk-il, an employee at Air Koryo, the country’s flag carrier, are suspected of being involved in the killing of Kim on February 13.

Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry is believed to have sent an official document requesting the North Korean mission to cooperate in the investigation as Hyon and Kim are wanted for questioning, Yonhap said.

–IANS

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