On February 13, 2017,Kim Jong Nam was attacked by two women with a VX nerve agent at KLIA2, alow-cost carrier terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysiaon his return trip to Macau. VX is a chemical weapon banned on 1993 at ChemicalWeapons Convention, which North Korea has not been certified. North Korea issuspected of holding the third largest chemical weapon in the world (after theUS and Russia, both signed and reported in the process of destroying theirstockpiles).Malaysian police havenamed eight North Korean suspects. They have been identified as Rhi Ji-hyon,Hong Song-hac, O Jong-gil and Ri Jae-nam, all leaving Malaysia after theattack, and Malaysian police sought help from Interpol and other relevantauthorities to track them. According to internal source, four suspects flew toJakarta, Dubai and Vladivostok before arriving to Pyongyang.
Besides, the onlyNorth Korean suspect detained is Ri Jong-Chol, then was released and deporteddue to lack of evidence Another three North Korean suspects are still inMalaysia: Ri Ji-u, who has lived in Malaysia for three years; Kim Uk-il, aworker at Air Koryo; Hyon Kwang-song, Second Secretary at the North KoreanEmbassy. The suspect has taken refuge at the North Korean embassy. Asconsequences, North Korea did not allow nine Malaysian in North Korea to leavethe country until the swap deal done which are Kim Jong nam body and threesuspect Ri Ji-u, Kim Uk-il, Hyong Kwang-song has arrive at North Korea.
The whole episode and drama by North Koreagive domestic and foreign implication to Malaysia as Prime Minister, NajibRazak used tact and diplomacy skill and sensitivity in dealing with difficultissues. It’s all about how well Najib Razak deal with North Korea, particularlywith respect to the death body of Kim Jong nam and stubbornness of North Korearegime. Thus apparently, the approach used by Najib Razak indirectly improveshis position and prove the credibility of a Prime Minister in solving complexsituation. The sequence of credibility of the Malaysiawith North Korea issues, which can be resolved diplomatically by Najib Razak,has indirectly been able to raise his name as a result of related scandals like1MDB, which has been circulating around the world. Najib Razak is completelypractical in his approach to deal with the foreign issues proving that his under-governinggovernment under the Barisan Nasional is still relevant and needed by the citizento protect Malaysia’s sovereignty and security dilemma.
In addition, the competence of Malaysianauthorities investigating and arresting suspects from the killing period of KimJong nam should be praised because it is very complex and complicated thatattract the attention of the world, especially the North Korean ‘enemies’, UnitedStates and South Korea. In addition, credit should be given from theministerial level to the authority’s levels that conduct investigations withoutbias.Others than that, careful approach byMalaysia government should be kudos as the government and Royal Malaysia Policedid not jump to the conclusion as the investigation still on-going even thoughobserver and analysis totally agreed that the killing of King Jong nam is theagenda of Kim Jong un’s regime that feels threatened by his brother since thedeath of their father Kim Jong il on 2011.
Meanwhile, tensions only started after the NorthKorean Ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol condemned the Malaysian government’scredibility in managing high-profile murder cases, Kim Jong Nam and Malaysiathrough Foreign Minister, Hanifah Aman declaring a persona non-grata againstKang Chol.The use of Diplomacy is the prime weapon ofthe Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak in order to not disconnect therelations with North Korea. This is perhaps the biggest challenge for NajibRazak by using diplomacy approach with North Korea as world knew that even theuse of soft apptoach diplomacy, the Kim Jong un regime still play around andcondemned neighbouring country for the killing of Kim Jong nam. In addition,Malaysia will only use disconnect the relation with Kim Jong un’s regime ifthey threatens to challenge Malaysia’s sovereignty.In conclusion, the approach taken by theMalaysian government under Najib Razak is through diplomacy using all channelsso that this bilateral relationship not disconnect after almost four decades. Only two suspects whichare two women’s from Indonesian and Vietnamese who left for the proceeding casein Malaysia meanwhile another four suspects were release due to the diplomacyissues with North Korea. This has attracted the governments of Indonesia andVietnam and they believe both women are being scapegoat where the killing ofKim Jong Nam is a planned killing and both women suspect tricked into the”prank” and they had no idea that it would result in the death.
At the early phase ofthe case, both Indonesia and Vietnam wanted access to their citizens andMalaysia replied that the case just at the “young age”. Soon after meetings amongthe Foreign Minister of Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam at Foreign Ministers’Meeting (AMM) in the Philippines, Malaysia let Indonesia and Vietnam get at totheir citizens on 25 February 2017. As the countries thatbelieved their citizen not the main suspect in the killing of King Jong nam,Indonesia and Vietnam promise to give the legal assistance to both womensuspects.
Three countries have worked together when Indonesian and Malaysianpolice work together on this high profile case, while Vietnam authorities tryto verify the data about the killing of King Jong nam.As a result of thisKing Jong nam murder at Malaysia, it has raise the awareness for Malaysia,Indonesia and Vietnam to not lukewarm the ties between these three countriesand foremost finding who direct the careful plan behind the murder of King Jongnam are the priority agenda. Not only that, the murder of Kim Jong nam has makeattention to Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam regarding the use of weapons ofmass destruction (WMD) and unconventional tactics since this incident couldhave happened anywhere else in SoutheastOf all the abovestatements, then we should not be surprised that political killings can occurin this country and this can be repeated. Jong-nam is able to go to the countrybecause Malaysia has a long history of witnessing how political exiles fromother countries are free to seek protection in Malaysia.
As long as Malaysiaprovides an opportunity for politicians to be exiled to stay here, we willprobably witness what happened to Jong-nam repeated. As the result, the murderof King Jong nam has made a close ties relation between Malaysia, Indonesia andVietnam in order to investigate the mastermind of this murder.