Kim Jong-nam 'warned' by Pyongyang after criticising regime to Japanese journalist

Violet Powell
February 17, 2017

Indonesia's Foreign Ministry has requested consular access to a woman arrested in Malaysia for suspected involvement in the killing of the North Korean leader's half brother. Officials did not immediately confirm his identity, but an employee at an emergency ward at Putrajaya hospital "said a deceased Korean there was born in 1970 and surnamed Kim", Reuters reported.

Malaysian police have arrested three suspects including two women in connection with the death.

"He is not one of the prime suspects but he is assisting us with the investigation", Selangor police chief Comm Datuk Seri Abdul Samah Mat told local outlet The Star.

Rejected by his father after causing embarrassment via a fake passport and a trip to Disneyland, Kim Jong-nam lived in exile as a critic of North Korea's political system, turning his back on the dynastic, authoritarian rule that his half brother embraced.

"Suspect is now remanded in custody to assist investigation", Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector-general of police, said in a statement.

2 "Boneka" Menggigil (Arrested Female Suspects Appeared Frightened) - Harian Metro questions as to whether the two female suspects detained were paid to kill Kim Jong-nam or whether they were actually North Korean operatives. The poison took effect quickly, and he died on the way to a hospital.

In October 2016, a group of former USA diplomats held closed door talks in Kuala Lumpur with senior Pyongyang officials amid an worldwide effort at that time to further isolate North Korea.

An autopsy was completed late on Wednesday, but the results have not been released.

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The 29-year-old woman detained at KLIA2 Wednesday morning was carrying a Vietnamese passport with the name Doan Thi Huong, said Malaysian Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

A state-run Chinese tabloid has said media allegations that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was behind the murder of his half-brother were aimed at "demonising and overthrowing" his government. North Koreans pay customary respects to their leaders on all major holidays and anniversaries.

"Even after Kim Jong Un took power, there was this atmosphere in China that the open-minded Kim Jong Nam was far better suited as leader", he said.

Mr Kim is believed to have been attacked in the airport departure hall by two women, using some form of chemical.

The latest case marked the most high-profile death under the Kim Jong-un regime since the execution of Jang Song-thaek in December 2013, the once-powerful uncle of the incumbent leader.

The findings could reveal whether Kim Jong Nam actually was poisoned, and possibly shed light on the tales of intrigue that have rippled since his death: the female assassins, the broad daylight killing, the estranged dictator-sibling looking to kill him.

In her autobiography, former North Korean spy Kim Hyon Hui, who was involved in the 1987 bombing of a Korean Air jet, wrote that high-ranking officials of the Workers' Party of Korea gave her words of encouragement before she carried out her mission.

The assassination, if confirmed, could have been ordered over reports stating that Kim Jong-nam was readying to defect, analysts have said.

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