The North Korean embassy has ridiculed inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar's claim that the two women detained in connection with Kim Jong-nam's murder applied toxic substance to the deceased's face with their bare hands.
In a media statement issued this afternoon, the embassy wondered how the two women were still alive if this was the case. “Malaysia has been conducting the investigation based on the CCTV footage (of the incident) that was released to the public and the delusion that the female suspects daubed the poison on the victim's face with their own hands. “Then how is it possible that these female suspects could be alive after the incident?”
Based on this, the embassy concluded that the liquid was smeared on Jong-nam's face as a joke, and it was not poison as claimed. It added that there must be another cause which led to Jong-nam's death on Feb 13. Therefore, the embassy said Malaysian authorities should immediately release the “innocent females from Indonesia and Vietnam” as well as the North Korean citizen “who was arrested unreasonably”.
At a press conference earlier, Khalid denied speculation that the women were part of a prank, adding that the pair was aware the substance was toxic and were instructed to wash their hands afterwards. He also said the suspects were trained, and had carried out trial runs at KLCC and Pavilion. Khalid also revealed that police applied for an additional seven-day remand for the pair this morning.Khalid said police are still on the lookout for seven other North Koreans to assist in its investigations - four whom were believed to have fled and three others who are still here.
In an immediate reaction, Indonesia's Foreign Ministry division director Muhammad Iqbal said Jakarta would remain focused on gaining direct consular access to its citizen."The fact that investigators have requested for another seven-day remand shows that the available evidence is insufficient to press charges. "This means that it is still too early to make a conclusion based on legal grounds of this case," he added in a media statement.