Malaysian officials say a cause of death has not yet been determined for the half brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un who died after apparently being poisoned in a Kuala Lumpur airport.
Noor Hisham Abdullah, the country’s director general of health, told reporters on Tuesday that the autopsy showed no evidence of a heart attack in Kim Jong-nam’s death, or sign of puncture wounds on his body.
Medical specimens have been forwarded to experts, who will determine the cause of death.
“We have to confirm with the lab report before we can make any conclusive remark,” he said.
Meanwhile Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak says his government’s investigation of the killing of the North Korean leader’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, will be “objective”, as tensions rose between the countries.
Earlier on Monday, Malaysia said it had recalled its envoy from Pyongyang and summoned North Korea’s ambassador in Kuala Lumpur, who again cast doubt on the impartiality of Malaysia’s investigation into the murder and said the victim was not Kim Jong Nam.
“We have no reason why we want to do something to paint North Korea in a bad light, but we will be objective,” Najib told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
The son of Kim Jong Nam, 22-year-old Kim Han Sol, was expected to arrive in the Malaysian capital from Macau late on Monday.
Malaysian authorities have said they will release the body of the victim, believed to have been killed by North Korean agents, to the next of kin.
CCTV footage, released by Japanese broadcaster Fuji TV, appeared to show Kim Jong-nam being attacked at Kuala Lumpur International Airport last Monday by a woman believed to have wiped a fast-acting poison on his face.
Kim Jong-nam, 46, who had been living in the Chinese territory of Macau under Beijing’s protection, had spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic control of isolated North Korea.
South Korean legislators last week cited their spy agency as saying the young and unpredictable North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, had issued a “standing order” for his half-brother’s assassination.
Malaysian police said they were hunting four North Koreans who fled from the country on the day of the attack, having already detained one North Korean man, a Vietnamese woman, an Indonesian woman, and a Malaysian man.
At least three of the wanted North Koreans caught an Emirates flight to Dubai from Jakarta late on the day of the attack, an immigration official in Indonesia told Reuters.
Malaysia’s Star newspaper reported that all four had returned to North Korea.
— NorthKoreaRealTime (@BuckTurgidson79) February 18, 2017
North Korea had sought to prevent Malaysia from conducting an autopsy, insisting the body be handed over. Its envoy in Kuala Lumpur criticised Malaysian authorities for “delaying” the release of the body.
“At the moment we cannot trust the investigation by the Malaysian police,” ambassador Kang Chol told reporters after talks at the foreign ministry.
There has been no mention of the death in North Korean media.
– Rozanna Latiff and Joseph Sipalan