Malaysia issued an arrest warrant Friday for a North Korean airline employee, the country’s police chief said, over the assassination of the half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-nam.
Police also requested the second secretary at the North Korean embassy in Malaysia to assist the probe as a diplomatic rift between Kuala Lumpur and Pyongyang widens.
Kim Uk-il, 37, works for North Korea’s national carrier Air Koryo and arrived in Malaysia around a fortnight before the assassination.
Malaysian police issued an arrest warrant for the new suspect on Friday morning as border security checks were stepped up to prevent anyone fleeing to North Korea.
Two women have so far been charged with murdering Kim, who died just minutes after the toxic VX nerve agent was wiped on his face at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The two suspects, of Indonesian and Vietnamese nationality, were caught on CCTV appearing to attack their victim on 13 February.
As the brother-in-law of Kim Jong-un, he had been living in exile for several years and had begged the North Korean leader to spare his life after a previous assassination attempt.
Police are searching for others involved in the operation, including whoever supplied them with the VX, which is listed by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.