Malaysian police took statements from North Koreans before they left

Four of the suspects left Kuala Lumpur immediately after the attack.

Malaysian media reported that a third North Korean, Ri Ji U, also known as James, who had been hiding with the two men at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, was also allowed to go home.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak initially announced a tit-for-tat ban, accusing North Korea of "effectively holding our citizens hostage".

North Korea is widely suspected to have orchestrated Mr Kim's murder with a nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur's airport.

Asked if the men suspected of involvement in the killing of Jong-nam had left the country, Najib said: "I believe they have".

One of the Malaysians who was stranded in Pyongyang walks down from a plane after arriving at Kuala Lumpur International airport in Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, March 31, 2017.

"We won't deny that when the DPRK government imposed the travel ban which prevented (us) from leaving, we were very concerned especially since we had committed no wrong", said Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain, a counsellor at the Malaysian embassy in the North Korean capital. North Korean officials were seen leaving the airport in Beijing on Friday morning, but Reuters could not verify if the officials were among them.

What was the spat about?

The three were believed to have been in hiding at the DPRK embassy in Malaysia.

Pyongyang reacted angrily when Malaysia refused their requests.

Najib said he is glad the Malaysians were released safely.




Malaysia has never directly accused North Korea of being behind the murder, but many say the weapon - VX nerve agent, a banned chemical weapon - suggests the North must have orchestrated it. Experts say the VX was nearly certainly produced in a sophisticated state weapons laboratory, and North Korea is widely believed to possess large quantities of chemical weapons.

Kang Chol was expelled and the Malaysian ambassador to North Korea was also recalled.

Malaysian officials have not hesitated in branding the return of their citizens as a triumph of diplomatic deal-making. Without specifying exactly who sent the letter, Khalid said, "Legally speaking, Kim Jong Un is the next of kin".

But the exact circumstances of how the deal was struck remain unclear.

Another "important" but unnamed North Korean national is also being sought, Malaysian police Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said last week.

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

"We wanted their statements as they were a part of our investigations".

What's happened to the body?

Kim, however, is believed to have children with women living in Macau and Beijing, not in North Korea.

"(North Korea) got all that it wanted - the body, especially the release and safe passage of the North Korean (s)", named in relation to the killing, Razali said.

Najib is now on an official visit in India but officials said he was directly involved in the negotiations.

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