Kim Jong Nam’s death is having more serious effects than what many originally expected.
Following Nam’s death, North Korea announced today that they temporarily banned all Malaysians from leaving the country. Nam’s half-brother, Kim Jong Un, is the dictator of the country. Officials claim that Malaysian cannot leave “until the safety of the diplomats and citizens of [North Korea] in Malaysia is fully guaranteed.”
Currently, there are 11 Malaysians in Pyongyang, North Korea. They include three embassy staff members, six civilians, and two workers for the United Nations’ World Food Program.
In response, Malaysia banned all North Korea from leaving its territory, as well, and accused North Korea of holding hostages. Officials claim that three North Koreans still in Malaysia helped murder Kim Jong Nam. Diplomats believe all three people are hiding in the embassy and that they include a diplomat and an airline employee.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said North Korea’s action is an “abhorrent act.”
“They cannot act at their whims and fancy, violating the international law to hold Malaysians hostage,” he said. “It is indeed unacceptable, not only by Malaysia, but also the world.”
The issues between the two countries started with Nam’s murder. Two women, whom investigators are still observing, used a VX nerve agent, considered a weapon of mass destruction, to murder Nam. They wiped the toxic substance on his face in a crowded airport on Feb. 13 in Kuala Lumpur.
Despite that Nam is Un’s older half-brother, North Korean officials forbade Malaysia officials from conducting an autopsy. They also said it is impossible the two women killed the victim with such a high-grade lethal weapon. Until Malaysia received DNA identification from Nam’s next blood relative, they refuse to release his body to North Korea. No family member has come forward yet.
Furthermore, North Korea officials say the man murdered is not Kim Jong Un’s half-brother. They also insist he died of a heart attack and that Malaysia is working with South Korea in a conspiracy to damage North Korea’s reputation.