North Korean suspects allowed to leave because police had already questioned them

Bakar said the men's freedom was not tied to an agreement which secured the release of nine Malaysians in Pyongyang and sent Kim Jong Nam's body back to North Korea.

The Malaysian government had allowed the three suspects to return and permitted Pyongyang to take custody of Kim's body, in exchange for nine Malaysians who had been blocked from leaving North Korea for more than three weeks.

He relayed the events following the discovery of the passport, saying police immediately informed the North Korean embassy of the murder.

That view is backed up by South Korean and United States officials, who see them as pawns in an operation carried out by North Korean agents.

It comes after the United States imposed sanctions on 11 North Koreans and one North Korean company over links to the country's weapons programmes, banks and commodities trade.

"We did not have concrete evidence to arrest them".

Asked whether he had at any time contacted the top North Korean leadership over the crisis, Mr Najib said he had only been in touch with the Malaysian hostages and the others involved, reported the Star. "So now that they have clarified and we are satisfied we are finished with them, that's why we allowed them to go".

Japanese broadcaster TBS also filmed what was believed to be the casket containing Kim Jong Nam's remains being loaded onto the same flight, though this was not confirmed by authorities either.

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The North Korean group traveled to China on their way home.

"It is natural for them to want the body because it will continue to draw attention if it is anywhere else", he told AFP.

He was allegedly killed by two women, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah, who are said to have smeared the deadly VX nerve agent on his face.

According to Khalid, the police have not closed the investigations into Jong-nam's murder.

A nation so absurd that it's nearly (actually not at all when you think about the nuclear weapons and hunger camps etc) amusing, North Korea's cage has been rattled again, this time thanks to USA senator calling Kim Jong-Un 'that insane fat kid'.

March 31: Mr Kim's body and three wanted North Koreans flown back to Pyongyang.

"The barred departure of diplomats and their family members was a grave and unacceptable breach of the Vienna Convention", the embassy said.

Suggestions of North Korea's involvement also lowered the country's already paltry standing on the world stage, analysts said, and reminded the globe about the risks of dealing with Pyongyang.

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