Malaysians detained in N.Korea return

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Nine Malaysians who were previously barred from leaving North Korea were granted permission to return home and arrived in Kuala Lumpur early yesterday morning.

The travel bans left nine Malaysians stranded in North Korea but after Kim Jong-nam's body was returned to his native country, the group have now been allowed to return home.

The South has blamed Pyongyang for the Cold War-style killing, citing what they say was a standing order from North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un to murder his exiled and estranged half-brother.

The death prompted speculation that Mr Kim had been killed by assassins dispatched by Kim Jong-Un, since VX can only be produced in a sophisticated state weapons laboratory, and North Korea is widely believed to possess large quantities of chemical weapons.

Feb 19: Police release images of four North Korean suspects, believed to have fled Malaysia on Feb 13.

Malaysian authorities released Kim's body on Thursday in a deal that secured the release of nine Malaysian citizens held in Pyongyang after a drawn-out diplomatic spat.

North Korea's leader is so "desperate" to remain in power that he would be willing to use nuclear weapons, a defector from the regime warned in an interview published Monday.

North Korea's state news agency KCNA released a statement from the Foreign Ministry, which said the remarks had "hurt the dignity" of the country.

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For the month of March, general revenue fund collections were $331.5 million, $26.3 million above the original budget estimate. Jim Justice says he's extending the legislative session through Sunday to give lawmakers additional time to pass a budget.

Malaysia will not cut diplomatic ties with North Korea as the hostage crisis issue is deemed to have ended, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Confronting one man, who wears sunglasses, the reporter says: "Did you take part in the assassination of Kim Jong-nam? No?"

North Korea has denied involvement in the crime and insisted the dead man was named Kim Chol.

Pyongyang has refused to confirm the identity of the victim, who was carrying a North Korean passport bearing the name of Kim Chol when he was killed.

Two women - one Vietnamese and one Indonesian - have been charged with killing Kim, who died after the women were seen on airport surveillance cameras smearing a substance on his face as he waited to catch a flight. "In this connection, both countries agreed to positively discuss the re-introduction of the visa-free system and work toward bringing the relations to a higher level", read the statement from North Korea.

Angered by the murder inquiry, North Korea ordered a travel ban on Malaysians this month, trapping three diplomats and six of their family members - including four children - in Pyongyang. They are no longer needed for investigations.

By GCR Staff0 CommentsSome 176 North Koreans hired to work at construction sites in Malaysia's Sarawak state have "disappeared into thin air", according to reports in the The Borneo Post on 29 March.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-nam's body is expected to be transported on on Malaysia Airlines flight MH360 to Beijing, en route to Pyongyang.