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Malaysia Releases North Korean Suspect in Kim Jong Nam Case

Malaysian police have released a North Korean suspect in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, citing insufficient evidence to hold him. The suspect, identified as Ri Jong Chol, will now be deported from the country for immigration violations, the BBC reported. Authorities said he no longer has valid travel documents to be in the country, with only an expired work permit. Amid widespread suspicion that North Korea was behind the killing of Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother, Ri was the only North Korean suspect police had in custody. They are currently seeking seven other North Korean suspects who fled the country, including a diplomat. Ri’s release comes as Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry condemned the use of the VX nerve agent in the Feb. 13 attack at Kuala Lumpur airport. “The ministry strongly condemns the use of such a chemical weapon by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday. “Its use at a public place could have endangered the general public,” the statement said. The chemical, considered a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations, was smeared on Kim Jong Nam’s face by two women who say they thought they were taking part in a television prank. They were charged with murder earlier this week and now face the death penalty.