North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Korean Jurists Association Issues Statement on Jong Nam’s demise

(NK Leadership Watch file photo)

(KCNA/NK Leadership Watch file photo)

The Korean Jurists’ Association issued the first observed statement from a DPRK institution on the death of Kim Jong Nam (Kim Cho’ng-nam), eldest son late leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il) and the half brother of current leader Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n).  The statement does not mention Jong Nam by name and upbraids Malaysian government officials on its public statements and various allegations about the DPRK’s involvement in Jong Nam’s demise.  It should be noted that the Korean Jurists’ Association is the DPRK’s professional association for judges, magistrates and court functionaries working for the DPRK Central Court.  As such it is within the Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Workers’ and Social Organizations Department.  Despite recent accusatory media statements and interactions  by DPRK Ambassador to Malaysia Kang Chol (Kang Ch’o’l), there have been no observed statements in DPRK state media by the DPRK Foreign Ministry or the WPK International Affairs Department.

DPRK state media reported that “a citizen of the DPRK bearing a diplomatic passport suddenly fell into a state of shock before boarding an airliner and died on the way to a hospital in Malaysia on February 13” and that “at that time the Foreign Ministry of Malaysia and the hospital side informed the DPRK embassy in Kuala Lumpur exercising the right to consular protection of DPRK citizens that they confirmed he died of heart stroke and decided to transfer his body to the embassy and get it cremated. So the DPRK embassy confirmed his identity and asked the Malaysian side to transfer his body. However, no sooner had south Korean conservative media published a false report that he was “poisoned to death”, citing it as “source from the government” that night, than the Malaysian secret police got involved in the case and recklessly made it an established fact, only to make matters complicated.”

DPRK state media further reported that “the DPRK embassy made it clear that autopsy is not necessary as his death had already been confirmed as the one due to heart stroke and autopsy should never be done as he enjoyed extraterritorial right according to the Vienna Convention as a carrier of diplomatic passport” and that “nevertheless, the Malaysian side, in disregard of the DPRK’s just demand and international law, made an autopsy of the body without any prior agreement with the DPRK side and its presence. Moreover, the Malaysian side clamored for the second autopsy without publishing the results of the first autopsy.”

According to KCNA, the Korean Jurists’ Association’s statement was:

What merits more serous attention is the fact that the unjust acts of the Malaysian side are timed to coincide with the anti-DPRK conspiratorial racket launched by the south Korean authorities.

Conservative media of south Korea began spreading wild rumors that the DPRK citizen was “poisoned to death by two women agents of the General Reconnaissance Bureau of north Korea” and it is undoubtedly its “deed” before the results of the autopsy were published.

On February 14, a day after his death, Ch’o’ngwadae of south Korea kicked up a fuss over it and the south Korean authorities were busy holding a ministerial meeting on February 16, showing an excessive response. Moreover, they openly discussed the issue of THAAD deployment though it has nothing to do with the death of a DPRK citizen.

This proves that the south Korean authorities has long expected the case since it worked out a scenario for it.

It is, indeed, regretful that only Malaysia is denying such fact.

The biggest responsibility for his death rests with the government of Malaysia as the citizen of the DPRK died in its land.

The unfriendly attitude of the Malaysian side found a more striking manifestation in the matter of transferring his body to the DPRK side.

Malaysia is obliged to hand his body to the DPRK side as it made an autopsy and forensic examination of it in an illegal and immoral manner. However, it has not yet handed the body under the absurd pretext that it cannot do so unless the family of the deceased presents a DNA sample in accordance with its law.

This proves that the Malaysian side is going to politicize the transfer of the body in utter disregard of international law and morality and thus attain a sinister purpose.

In the early days when the incident happened Malaysia widely publicized that it arrested suspected persons but now keeps mum about it.

What sounds more alarming is that the suspected persons allegedly stated that the DPRK citizen was poisoned to death when “oil like lotion was put on his head with their hands.” That means the woman survived even after having poison on her hand while leaving only the poisoned man dead.

The DPRK has already proposed a joint investigation for properly probing the incident and clarified that it is ready to dispatch a delegation of its jurists.

Its aim is to meet the suspected persons and hear their statements, confirm who ordered them and meet the arrested citizen and survey in detail the scene of the incident and its video footage and thus conclude the investigation into the incident in a fair way.

The DPRK will never allow any attempt to tarnish the image of the dignified power of independence and nuclear weapons state but make a thorough probe into the truth behind the case.

It will watch the future attitude of the Malaysian side.

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