Man Could Help Solve Kim's Murder, but There's a Catch

Malaysian police want to talk to Hyon Kwang Song, but he's a diplomat
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 27, 2017 3:47 AM CST
Updated Feb 27, 2017 6:18 AM CST
Man Could Help Solve Kim's Murder, but There's a Catch
A woman walks outside North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017.   (Daniel Chan)

Malaysian police investigating the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half brother believe they know somebody who might help them solve one of the most bizarre murder mysteries they have ever faced. They know his name, his nationality, and have a pretty good idea where he's holed up. The problem is Hyon Kwang Song is a North Korean diplomat. Malaysian police investigating the killing of Kim Jong Nam in an airport lobby on Feb. 13 are seeking seven North Korean nationals in connection with the case. Most have left the country, but authorities say they believe two—first secretary Hyon and an employee of Air Koryo, the country's flag carrier, remain. If so, it's not hard to imagine where they might be: the North Korean Embassy, a plain, yellow two-story house in an affluent neighborhood just 10 minutes from downtown Kuala Lumpur.

Whether they are indeed at the embassy is anybody's guess. Police can't check because to do so they need permission from North Korea, which so far has said absolutely not. Investigators have submitted a request through Malaysia's foreign ministry to the North Korean Embassy to interview the diplomat. "If you have nothing to hide, you do not have to be afraid," says the national police chief. "You should cooperate." But the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations says a foreign diplomat is "inviolable" and is not liable to any form of arrest or detention. "If he is a Korean diplomat with a diplomatic passport, then he has immunity no matter a criminal case or otherwise," a lawyer tells the AP, which has more. (Kim Jong Nam suffered a "very painful death," per Malaysia's health minister.)

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