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Malaysia recalled its ambassador to North Korea in the wake of Kim Jong Nam's death

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UPDATE: Feb. 20 at 2:26 p.m. 

Malaysia has recalled its ambassador to North Korea amid heightened tensions between the countries in the aftermath of the death of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. 

Malaysia's foreign ministry added in a statement that it called North Korea's ambassador to Kuala Lumpur seeking an explanation for the accusations made against Malaysia's government. North Korea has accused Malaysia of "trying to conceal something" in regards to Kim Jong Nam's death.

Original story

Malaysian police are searching for four North Korean men who flew out of Malaysia the same day Kim Jong Nam, the estranged brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was killed. 

Kim Jong Nam died Monday after he was sprayed with poison while waiting for his flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, police said. Authorities are now investigating his death as a murder case and trying to piece together details from the incident. 

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Deputy National Police Chief of Malaysia Noor Rashid Ibrahim, left, speaks as Selangor Police Chief Abdul Samah Mat listens during a press conference at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. Investigators are looking for four North Korean men who flew out of Malaysia the same day Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean ruler's outcast half brother, was apparently poisoned at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysian police said Sunday. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Malaysian police have arrested four people carrying IDs from North Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam. Malaysia's top police official, Noor Rashid Ibrahim told reporters Sunday that four other North Korean suspects are on the run.

I am not going disclose where they are.
Noor Rashid Ibrahim

Noor Rashid added that the men arrived in Malaysia on different days but all fled the country last Monday. 

He added that the men, ages 33, 34, 55 and 57, were all traveling on regular passports, not diplomatic ones. In addition, Noor Rashid said there are at least three others police would like to question in regards to Kim Jong Nam's mysterious death. 

Kim Jong Nam's autopsy results are expected to be released in the coming days. Meanwhile, investigators will have his next of kin formally identify his body. 


Malaysian police have already arrested an Indonesian woman, a Malaysian man, a Vietnamese woman and a North Korean man. The Indonesian woman told investigators she was tricked into thinking she was participating in a prank for a comedy show. 

Charges for those suspects will be determined by proscuters. 

Kim Jong Nam's death has also heightened tensions between Malaysia and North Korea. That's partially because North Korea objected to having an autopsy performed on Kim Jong Nam's body, but Malaysian authorities conducted the procedure anyway. 

North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia warned that Malaysia may be trying to hide something by conducting the autopsy despite objections.


The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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