23August2017

Home Editorial THE PROBLEM OF KIM JONG NAM MURDER

THE PROBLEM OF KIM JONG NAM MURDER

The murder of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un  half-brother, Kim Jong Nam,  is still under investigation of the authorities in Malaysia. Related to this, Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi, initiated a tripartite meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Sri Anifah and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Binh Minh Panh. The talk was held on the sidelines of ASEAN Foreign Ministerial Retreat Session in Boracay, the Philippines, Monday. They discussed the detention of an Indonesian citizen and a citizen of Vietnam allegedly involved in the murder of Kim Jong Nam in Kuala Lumpur International Airport last week.

At the meeting Minister Dato Sri Anifah, explained  about  the  process being undertaken by the Malaysian authorities. According to Malaysian law  detained  suspects can not see anybody except the police investigators.

Indonesia and Vietnam, tried to request consular access for the citizens of the two ASEAN countries in  accordance with the Vienna Convention on international rights of a person. Malaysia has opened some  access but is limited to meeting  the investigators who stated that the condition of both detainees were good. Nevertheless, both Indonesia and Vietnam still expect that consular access can still be opened so they could give assistance and also facilitate communication between investigators and  the suspects.

The cases of alleged murder of  Kim Jong Nam has also affected the bilateral relations between Malaysia and North Korea. North Korean Ambassador in Malaysia, Kang Cho's accusasion that Malaysia has worked in collusion with the enemy of North Korea made Malaysia offended. This comment came out after Malaysia refused to hand over the body of Kim Jong Nam to North Korea without an autopsy. Kuala Lumpur then pulled its ambassador from Pyong Yang.

Malaysian police arrested a North Korean Ri Jong Chol, while four others who were also  allegedly involved had  left Malaysia. The Malaysian police  also arrested two women who are Indonesian and Vietnamese nationals.Consular access for both women should be  given  by Malaysia so that they can obtain legal assistance. However, it seems that even the Vienna Convention regarding consular access has to  adapt to the laws in force in Malaysia. Hopefully, this case can be resolved soon  and  the  diplomatic relations can be restored.

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