February 20, 2017 12:28
The North Korean Ambassador to Malaysia on Friday engaged in furious grandstanding over the apparent assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Kang Chol called a late-night press conference at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur where Kim's body is being held and hinted darkly at a global conspiracy.
"We refused to allow an autopsy since he had a diplomatic passport and was under our protection, but Malaysian authorities ignored our request and pressed ahead with the autopsy without our approval and did not allow us to witness it," he said.
"We will categorically reject the result of the post-mortem." He claimed that the move disregarded "elementary international laws and consular laws."
Kang said Malaysian police initially told him that Kim had died of a heart attack on the way to hospital. He said the fact that Malaysian officials have yet to hand over the body "strongly suggests that the Malaysian side is trying to conceal something which needs more time and deceive us, and that they are colluding with the hostile forces towards us who are desperate to harm us."
Kang also accused South Korea of "trying desperately" to take the public's attention away from its own presidential impeachment trial and warned that Pyongyang "will not forgive" any attempts by South Korea and Malaysia to "damage our reputation."
North Korea had demanded that Kim Jong-nam's body be cremated without an autopsy but then shifted to requesting the handover of the body.
Kang is likely to be under massive pressure from the North Korean regime after the bizarre hit, which resulted in the immediate identification of suspects from CCTV footage.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry said Kang's comments were "unworthy of a response" and added that a thorough investigation by Malaysian authorities is necessary.
Malaysia is one of a handful of countries to maintain full diplomatic relations with the North.
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