Investigators are looking for four North Korean men who flew out of Malaysia the same day Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean ruler’s outcast half brother, was apparently poisoned at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian police said Sunday.
Since Kim’s death last week, authorities have been trying to piece together details of what appeared to be an assassination. Malaysian police have so far arrested four people carrying IDs from North Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Four suspects at large
On Sunday, the Deputy National Police Chief of Malaysia, Noor Rashid Ibrahim, said four other suspects were on the run. He said the men were North Korean and had flown out of the country last Monday, when Kim died.
“I am not going disclose where they are,” he told a room packed with journalists. Interpol was helping with the investigation, he said.
Noor Rashid showed photographs of the four North Korean men police were trying to track down. They were traveling on regular, not diplomatic, passports and are ages 33, 34, 55 and 57.
He also said there was a fifth North Korean man whom authorities wanted to question.
Autopsy results in days
Kim Jong Nam was waiting for his flight home to Macau when, authorities say, he was set upon by two women. He sought help at a customer service desk and said “two unidentified women had swabbed or had wiped his face with a liquid and that he felt dizzy,” Noor Rashid said Sunday.
Kim died en route to a hospital after suffering a seizure, officials say.
Noor Rashid said Sunday that he expected autopsy results to be released within days.
“We have to send a sample to the chemistry department, we have to send a sample for toxicology tests,” he said.
Investigators also want to speak to Kim Jong Nam’s next of kin to identify the body. He is believed to have two sons and a daughter with two women living in Beijing and Macau.
“We haven’t met the next of kin,” Noor Rashid said. “We are working, we are trying very hard to get the next of kin to come and to assist us in the investigation.”
The case has raised tensions between Malaysia and North Korea. Pyongyang officials have demanded custody of Kim’s body and strongly objected to an autopsy, saying they will reject any results. The Malaysians went ahead with the autopsy anyway, saying they were simply following procedure.