One month on, Kim's killing still a mystery, M'sia-N Korea ties strained

MASRIWANIE MUHAMADING

KUALA LUMPUR: One month has passed since the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but the world is still as mystified and transfixed by the case as ever.

North Korean embassy counsellor (consulate and administration) Kim Yu-song has remained tight-lipped throughout the investigation, and he was not seen leaving the embassy premises today – leaving press camped outside the building empty-handed.

Yu-song, however, was seen speaking to an unidentified local man in the embassy compound at around 10.20am. The man later drove one of the embassy's vehicles, a black Mercedes-Benz, off the premises.

The man returned with the car about five hours later and met Yu-song again briefly, before walking off the premises. However, he refused to identify himself or comment on his visit to the embassy.

The embassy's other vehicles were also seen leaving and entering the premises since early morning.

Meanwhile, diplomatic relations between Malaysia and North Korea remain strained over the investigation into the murder case.

Both countries have expelled each other’s ambassador, while banning each other's citizens from leaving their soil.

Negotiations to resolve thorny issues, including the fate of Jong-nam's body and the release of each other’s citizens are ongoing.