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North Korea ambassador says Kim Jong Nam died of 'natural causes'

Kang Chol said the Malaysian government is colluding with South Korea on the investigation of Kim Jong Nam's assassination.

By Elizabeth Shim
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North Korea ambassador says Kim Jong Nam died of 'natural causes'
Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was assassinated last week at a Malaysian airport. Photo courtesy of Yonhap/EPA

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia said he would not accept local police autopsy results for Kim Jong Nam, the assassinated half-brother of Kim Jong Un, while claiming the older Kim had died of "natural causes."

Kang Chol, Pyongyang's top envoy to Kuala Lumpur, made the remarks during an impromptu press conference held outside the North Korean embassy in Malaysia, South Korean newspaper Herald Business reported.

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The North Korean official said South Korea benefits the most from Kim Jong Nam's assassination, although Seoul has said the North Korean regime is behind the poisoning death of Kim Jong Nam, the once favored son of former leader Kim Jong Il.

Video footage of Kim Jong Nam's death released on Monday also indicates the man who once attempted to visit Tokyo Disneyland on a falsified passport died after he was attacked at an airport in Kuala Lumpur.

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Kim Jong Nam is shown being approached by two women. One places an unidentified object over his face from the back. Kim Jong Nam then walks to look for help and is taken to an airport clinic.

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A suspect with a North Korean passport was arrested last week.

RELATED South Korea accuses North Korea of Kim Jong Nam assassination

Kang said the Malaysian government was colluding with South Korea behind the scenes, and that Seoul's impeached administration, and proponents of THAAD deployment, stand to benefit the most from the assassination.

THAAD is a U.S. missile defense system that can track and shoot down incoming missiles.

Kang also delivered a press conference Friday, in response to the Malaysian government's demand for a family DNA sample for the Kim Jong Nam.

RELATED First North Korea passport holder arrested in Kim Jong Nam assassination

Malaysia had initially agreed to return the body to Pyongyang without conditions.

Ri Jong Chol, a fourth suspect, who was arrested last week, has denied he knows the women suspects.

Ri was in Malaysia on a foreign-worker visa, South Korean newspaper Hankyoreh reported.

Malaysia is looking for four other North Korean suspects: Ri Ji Hyon, 33; O Jong Gil, 55; Hong Song Hac, 34; Ri Jae Nam, 57, according to the Hankyoreh.

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