Kim Jong-nam Died of Heart Failure, North Korea Suggests
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — A North Korean diplomat suggested on Thursday that Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of the country’s leader, died of heart failure despite Malaysia’s finding that he was killed by a banned nerve agent.
The diplomat, Ri Tong-il, who is leading a delegation to Malaysia, made the surprising assertion in Kuala Lumpur, the capital, during a visit aimed at repairing a diplomatic breach over the death. He said Mr. Kim had a history of heart disease and high blood pressure for which he needed medication.
But while asserting the cause of Mr. Kim’s death, without providing any evidence, he stood by his country’s refusal to acknowledge that the victim was the half brother of Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, instead calling him by the name Kim Chol, which South Korean officials have said is an alias.
但在对金正男的死因下定论却未给出任何证据的同时，他遵循朝鲜的立场，拒绝承认遇害者是朝鲜领导人金正恩(Kim Jong-un)同父异母的哥哥，而是用金哲(Kim Chol)这个名字称呼他。韩国官员称，金哲是化名。
He also called on Malaysia to provide samples of the VX nerve agent that the police say they found on the body to the international organization charged with carrying out the global treaty that bans the use of chemical weapons.
“If it is true that it was used,” he told reporters, “then the samples should be sent to the office” of the group, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, for examination.
“如果真的用了它，”他对记者说，“则应将样本送去办公室”进行检查。这里指的是禁止化学武器组织(Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)的办公室。
South Korea has accused the North of organizing the killing, and the Malaysian police have identified seven North Korean men they would like to question. North Korea has refused to allow the police to interview two of the suspects, who are said to have taken refuge at the embassy where Mr. Ri addressed reporters.
Four others are believed to have returned to North Korea, and the location of the last one is unknown. An eighth, the only North Korean citizen in Malaysian custody, is expected to be released for lack of evidence and deported, according to news reports.
Malaysia has not allowed North Korean officials to conduct their own examination of the body, despite their repeated demands that it be turned over to them.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has said that it is in close contact with the Malaysian authorities in the Kim case and that it has provided “some technical materials that they have requested to assist them with their internal investigation.”
But the group declined to say whether Malaysia had provided it with samples for independent testing. Malaysian officials have also declined to comment.
In a statement on Wednesday, North Korea argued that any conclusion on the use of chemical weapons should be made “only on the basis of the identical results of analysis made by at least two specialist laboratories,” warning that “if some countries try to use it for other political purposes, the consequences will be beyond imagination.”
The latest assertions came as Malaysia moved on Thursday to punish North Korea for the airport assassination of Mr. Kim, saying that it would require visitors from that country to obtain visas, the government said.
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, the deputy prime minister, imposed the restrictions effective this coming Monday, citing national security concerns. Until now, North Koreans have been able to enter Malaysia without a visa — one of the few places in the world that allowed such easy access for citizens of a country that is widely viewed as a pariah.
马来西亚副总理艾哈迈德·扎希德·哈米迪(Ahmad Zahid Hamidi)表示，这项限制将于下周一强制生效，原因是出于国家安全考虑。此前，朝鲜人一直可以免签进入马来西亚——世界上为数不多的允许一个普遍受唾弃的国家的公民如此轻易入境的地方。
About 1,000 North Koreans live and work in Malaysia, where they have been able to establish international companies and have access to the global banking system. But relations between the two nations have rapidly deteriorated since the killing of Mr. Kim and accusations that North Korea was behind it.
It was unclear whether the visa order would affect North Koreans who are already in Malaysia.