Kim's Body Released to North Korea

As 9 Malaysians depart Pyongyang
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2017 9:01 AM CDT
Kim's Body Released to North Korea
An unidentified van believed to be carrying the body of Kim Jong Nam leaves Kuala Lumpur Hospital on Thursday.   (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

A diplomatic dispute between Malaysia and North Korea appears to have come to an end with the release of Kim Jong Nam's body. The body of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un—officially identified earlier this month—left Malaysia on a plane bound for Pyongyang via Beijing on Thursday "following the completion of the autopsy on the deceased and receipt of a letter from his family requesting the remains be returned to North Korea," Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says. Nine Malaysians stranded in North Korea as a result of a travel ban following Kim's assassination at Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13 also left North Korea on Thursday aboard a Royal Malaysian Air Force jet, reports Reuters.

North Koreans stuck in Malaysia are also allowed to return home, though it isn't clear if three suspects in Kim's assassination, believed to be holed up in the North Korean embassy in Malaysia, are exempt, reports the BBC. Reuters initially cited media reports suggesting the suspects were to leave Malaysia on the same flight carrying Kim's body, but those reports were unverified. While a statement from North Korea says "the importance of bilateral relations was reaffirmed," Najib says "our police investigation into this serious crime on Malaysian soil will continue. I have instructed for all possible measures to be taken to bring those responsible for this murder to justice." Two women have already been charged with murder. (Read more Kim Jong Nam stories.)

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