No raid on N. Korean embassy as police willing to wait for wanted men

By Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN, March 7 — Malaysia need not “raid” the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur in search of several men wanted for questioning into the high-profile murder of Kim Jong-nam, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Abu Bakar said today.

The national police chief instead expressed confidence that Malaysia can afford to wait to get them in the end.

“We will not raid the embassy, of course. They will come out, we will wait for them, we have plenty of time to wait,” he told a news conference here this morning.

He said local police has served a notice to the embassy under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which grants it the authority to summon the men to come forward as witnesses into Kim’s February 13 death on Malaysian soil.

He also said the police were following the proper protocol to obtain North Korea’s cooperation onto the murder case but added that they have refused to do so to date.

“So, we have also applied for the blue notice of Interpol and they will refer them to us whenever they travel,” he said.

Malaysian police stand guard in front of the North Korean embassy in Damansara Heights, Kuala Lumpur after the government imposed a ban on its diplomats from leaving the country on March 7, 2017.

Khalid also said police are confident they will be getting a DNA sample that will enable them to conclusively identify the murdered North Korean who died after being attacked by two foreign women with the lethal VX nerve agent on February 13.

The police have persistently referred to the dead man as “Kim Chol” according to the name listed in his passport even though most of everyone else is certain that he is Kim Jong-nam, the estranged older half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“Just give us a little bit of time, we will get the DNA sample,” he said.

Earlier today, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced a ban on North Korean officials here from leaving the country after 11 Malaysians were stranded in North Korea following Pyongyang’s restriction order.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak later expanded the order to cover all North Koreans in Malaysia, including 170 who are working in Sarawak.

The prime minister has also summoned a meeting of the National Security Council as diplomatic tensions heat up between both nations with the ambassadors of both countries being expelled.

Najib condemned Pyongyang for holding Malaysians “hostage” amid its insistence that Putrajaya is colluding with the North’s enemies to claim Jong-nam was murdered when they believe he died of a heart attack.