Ministry awaiting govt decision on body of Jong-nam, Subramaniam says

No. of N. Korea's official markets increasing

He was holding a diplomatic passport in the name of Kim Chol when he was killed.

It was astounding the USA government had provided over £1billion in aid to North Korea to no result, as Kim Jong-un continues to escalate the situation on the peninsula, Donald Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

"He entered the CCTV's frame as soon as Jong Nam began making his way to the self check-in counter" at KLIA2, where Mr Kim was attacked by the two women.

In a separate development, Prime Minister Najib Razak said Malaysia has not started formal negotiations with North Korea over the release of nine Malaysians stranded in Pyongyang.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Noor Rashid Ibrahim confirmed yesterday that Jong Nam's next of kin had left it to the Malaysian government to manage the remains.

"I was made to understand that they are leaving it to our government to deal with it (the body). yes, they have given their consent", he said.

Interpol, based in Lyon, France, has posted red notices on its website for the four North Koreans, listing each as being wanted by Malaysian authorities for prosecution on murder charges, but without giving much more information.

In Beijing, a North Korean diplomat said yesterday that the killing was a political conspiracy engineered by Washington and Seoul.

North Korea has a long-standing ambition to be recognized as a nuclear power and carried out its latest ballistic missile launches this month.

Malaysia is one of the few countries outside China that has for decades maintained ties with North Korea. The four - Hong Song Hak, 34; Ri Ji Hyon, 33; O Jong Gil, 55; and Ri Jae Nam, 57 - were at the airport on the day of the killing, and have since fled the country, Malaysia's police chief Khalid Abu Bakar told reporters Thursday.

The incident sparked a diplomatic stand-off, as both countries slapped travel bans on each other's citizens, and expelled the other's ambassador.

In addition to the four men listed by Interpol, Malaysian police have identified three other North Koreans as suspects in the case, and who are believed to be hiding out in Pyongyang's embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

Pyongyang has denounced the Malaysian investigation as an attempt to smear the secretive regime, insisting that the 45-year-old most likely died of a heart attack.

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