A SUSPECT wanted by police for the Kim Jong Nam murder investigation has reportedly been spotted playing snooker at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The All-Nippon News Network (ANN News) aired a one-minute video footage on Monday showing a man resembling the suspect, Kim Uk Il, playing the game with several other people on the second floor of the embassy in Damansara Heights.
Malaysian news agency Bernama (via Free Malaysia Today) highlighted the matter on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old Uk Il, an employee of North Korean airline, Air Koryo, is being sought by Malaysian police to assist with investigations into the cloak-and-dagger style assassination of the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un.
Malaysia’s national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar on Feb 22 said Uk Il was among two suspects, including the embassy’s second secretary, Kwang Hyon Song, 44, who were believed to be hiding in the embassy building.
Another suspect, Ri Ji U, also known as “James”, is still believed to be in Malaysia.
A further four suspects are believed to have fled to Pyongyang.
“We believe they are at the embassy compound, this includes the staff of Air Koryo, if they do not come forward, we will compel them to do so, before we issue a warrant of arrest,” Khalid told a press conference earlier this month.
“We will wait even if it takes five years, definitely someone will come out.”
A visit by Asian Correspondent to the North Korean embassy along Jalan Batai in Damansara Heights, one of Kuala Lumpur’s most affluent neighborhoods, on Tuesday evening found several journalists and a Malaysian police patrol car parked outside the compound, seemingly surveying the movements of embassy officials.
It was reported Wednesday that another suspect implicated in the murder has been identified as a son of a top North Korean envoy to Vietnam who used his fluent command of the Vietnamese language to lure Asian women into the murder.
South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported 33-year-old Ri Ji-hyon is the son of former North Korean ambassador to Hanoi Ri Hong who lived in Vietnam for about 10 years.
The suspect is said to have been instrumental in luring Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, a woman, into the Feb 13 assassination.
The Vietnamese woman and another alleged accomplice, Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah, reportedly smeared VX nerve agent, a banned chemical weapon on Jong Nam’s face at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, killing him within minutes.
The duo have claimed they thought the attack was a harmless prank for a reality television show.
The two women are currently facing murder charges in Malaysia and face the mandatory death penalty if convicted.
Malaysian authorities also said eight North Koreans were suspected of involvement in the plot – one having been released from custody.
Malaysia’s investigation into the killing has sparked diplomatic tensions with North Korea and triggered a Mexican standoff between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang, after the latter prevented a group of nine Malaysian embassy officials and their family members from leaving the reclusive state.