MOSCOW, March 2. /TASS/. The Russian side has not received any request for detaining four North Korean citizens suspected of complicity in murdering Kim Jong-nam, the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, spokeswoman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
"The incident with the North Korean citizen at Kuala Lumpur airport is being investigated by the Malaysian side while the Russian side has not received any reliable information on the complicity of North Korean citizens in this incident or any requests from the competent side for their detention," the spokeswoman said.
"We’re closely watching the incident investigation and expect that official data will be submitted and disseminated," the Russian diplomat said.
The Seoul-based newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported on Tuesday, citing an anonymous source that South Korea had allegedly asked Russia to help intercept four suspects in the murder of a North Korean citizen in Kuala Lumpur, presumably Kim Jong-nam, the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but this request was declined over insufficient grounds.
The paper reported that four North Korean citizens suspected of their complicity in this crime immediately left Malaysia, presumably by flights via Jakarta, Dubai, Moscow and Vladivostok.
Kim Jong-nam felt unwell at Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13 and died on his way to hospital. Before that, he applied to the airport’s ground service for help, complaining about strong dizziness and saying that an unknown person had sprayed some liquid in his face and escaped.
The Malaysian police announced on February 24 that the autopsy results suggested Kim Jong-nam had died of his exposure to VX nerve agent.
At least eight persons are regarded as suspects in the murder of Kim Jong-nam: four of them, including female citizens of Vietnam and Indonesia, a Malaysian national as a close acquaintance of one of them, and also a North Korean national, have already been detained.
Another four North Korean citizens left Kuala Lumpur on the day of the incident and, according to some data, are staying in Pyongyang. The police also intend to question another two persons - an employee of the North Korean embassy in Malaysia and an employee of a North Korean airline.