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Kim Jong-nam

Chinese state-run tabloid says insufficient evidence North Korean leader behind half-brother’s murder

The Global Times says the speculation is aimed at ‘demonising’ Kim Jong-un and toppling his government

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 February, 2017, 12:47pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 February, 2017, 1:00pm

A state-run Chinese tabloid has said media allegations that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was behind the murder of his half-brother were aimed at “demonising and overthrowing” his government.

The Global Times said the claims, particularly emanating from South Korea, were based on insufficient evidence and were also intended at justifying and speeding up the deployment of a missile defence shield in the South. China has objected to the move saying the THAAD anti-missile system poses a threat to its own security.

The newspaper, which is controlled by the Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily, quoted a researcher at Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, as saying, “Obviously, some forces are using the incident” to serve their political agendas.

Third person detained in connection with Kim Jong-nam murder, Malaysian police say

China’s state-controlled media outlets have been unusually quiet over the death of Kim Jong-nam, who had lived in Beijing and Macau for many years.

Kim died on Monday after he was assaulted with what appears to have been fast-acting poison while waiting to board a flight to Macau from Kuala Lumpur airport.

The state-run Xinhua news agency only carried a two-sentence report on the Chinese foreign ministry’s reaction to his death on Wednesday.

The People’s Daily did not report Kim’s death at all, shunning the story which has grabbed the headlines around the world.

The assassination has, however, attracted huge interest, debate and speculation on social media in China.

The Global Times warned on Thursday that the Chinese public should be alert to “the traps by people with ulterior motives” attempting to connect China with the mysterious death of Kim in Malaysia.

Shan Renping, a commentator at the newspaper, wrote that Kim’s death had triggered mounting speculation in foreign media, including claims that he had received special protection while living in China.

This could be an attempt to “intentionally drag China into the story” as most of the speculation and unnamed sources were reported by South Korean media and the Chinese public should be wary of the reports.

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Shan said that since Kim Jong-nam had been excluded from circles of power in Pyongyang his death had “little practical influence” or impact on geopolitics.

The commentary also urged the paper’s readers to be patient and await the results of the Malaysian government inquiry before jumping to conclusions about the death.

Two women aged 25 and 29 suspected of carrying out the attack at the Malaysian airport have been arrested.

The women were carrying Indonesian and Vietnamese passports. The boyfriend of the Indonesian woman has also been detained.