Female Assassin Held In Death Of North Korean Dictator’s Half-Brother

The estranged brother of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-un died in a Malaysian airport.  





By Benjamin H. Smith

Police in Malaysia have arrested a woman in connection with the death of Kim Jong-nam, the 46-year-old half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The woman was carrying a Vietnamese passport in the name of Doan Thi Huong, which showed she was born in a 1988. The National Intelligence Service of South Korea says he was poisoned at the behest of his brother by two woman at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia as he waited in line to board a plane home to Macau, where he lived in exile under the protection of the Chinese Government, according to The New York Times.

While details remain unconfirmed, there are various reports that Kim Jong-nam was either sprayed, splashed, or had a cloth placed over his face, filled with a poisonous chemical agent. He then felt dizzy and later died on his way to the hospital.  NBC News reports that airport security footage led them to arrest the woman, clad in a shirt that says “LOL,” as she tried to escape in a taxi. If Kim Jong-un is indeed responsible, he would not be the first family member the famously paranoid North Korean dictator has had killed since assuming power after the death of their father Kim Jong-il in 2011. In 2013, Kim Jong-un’s uncle Jang Sung-taek was tried and executed, as were many members of Jang’s family, according to various South Korean news sources.

Though he was initially seen as a natural successor to his father, Kim Jong-nam fell from favor and was eventually superseded by his younger half-brother Kim Jong-un. He lived in exile in the autonomous Chinese city of Macau, allegedly under the protection of the Chinese government. In recent years he had spoken out against North Korea's repressive regime and was seen by some as a potential rival of Kim Jong-un's for leadership of the country. According the news service Reuters, North Korean officials spent hours trying to convince Malaysian authorities to return the body to them before conducting an autopsy, but their efforts were rebuffed.

[Photo: Kuala Lumpur International Airport CCTV via The Star Online]

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