Malaysia Boots North Korean Ambassador in 'Clear Message'
'We are serious about solving this problem'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 5, 2017 6:33 AM CST
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In this Feb. 20, 2017 file photo, North Korea's Ambassador to Malaysia Kang Chol speaks in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysian Deputy PM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi says the expulsion of North Korea’s ambassador was to warn Pyongyang that they cannot manipulate Malaysia’s investigation into Kim Jong Nam’s murder.   (Vincent Thian)
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(Newser) – Malaysia says its expulsion of North Korea's ambassador was intended to warn Pyongyang that it cannot manipulate the investigation into the killing of the North Korean leader's half brother, reports the AP. The government on Saturday gave Ambassador Kang Chol 48 hours to leave the country after he refused to apologize for his strong accusations over Malaysia's handling of the investigation into the Feb. 13 killing of Kim Jong Nam at Kuala Lumpur's airport. "I think we have given a clear message to the North Korean government that we are serious about solving this problem and we do not want (the investigation) to be manipulated," Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted as saying Sunday by Malaysian national news agency Bernama.

Kang's expulsion came just days after Malaysia said it would scrap visa-free entry for North Koreans and expressed concern over the use of the nerve agent in Kim's murder. Authorities released a North Korean chemist from custody on Saturday due to a lack of evidence to charge him and deported him on the same day. Ri Jong Chol, however, has accused Malaysian police of threatening to kill his family to coerce him into confessing to the crime. Malaysia is also looking for seven other North Korean suspects, four of whom are believed to have left the country on the day of the killing. Three others, including an official at the North Korean Embassy and an employee of Air Koryo, North Korea's national carrier, are believed to still be in Malaysia. Two women—one Indonesian, one Vietnamese—have been charged with murder in the case.

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