Kim Jong-nam: Woman detained at Kuala Lumpur airport after 'assassination' of North Korean leader's half-brother

Suspect was alone and in possession of a Vietnamese travel document at the time of arrest, Malaysian police say

May Bulman
Wednesday 15 February 2017 10:09 GMT
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CCTV shows woman arrested in connection with Kim Jong-nam murder wearing LOL t-shirt

A woman has been detained at Kuala Lumpur airport in connection with the death of Kim Jong-un's half-brother.

The suspect, who was holding a Vietnamese travel document at the time of arrest, was taken into custody in the low-cost terminal of the airport, according to a state news agency.

Police said the 28-year-old suspect was “positively identified from the CCTV footage at the airport and was alone at the time of arrest”. It added: “Any further actions against suspect/suspects will be taken in accordance with the law”.

Kim Jong-nam died at the airport on Monday after collapsing while waiting to board a flight to Macau, where he was living in exile.

An unnamed senior police officer in Malaysia told the Daily Telegraph Mr Kim had been sprayed with poison. “One of the girls was told to hold a handkerchief on the face of the victim after he'd been sprayed by the other girl,” the police officer reportedly said.

“She held it there for 10 seconds. She said she thought spraying him had been a ‘prank’.”

CCTV images have been circulating on local and international media of a woman suspected of being connected to the death. It is unclear whether the latest arrest is the woman pictured in the images.


CCTV image shows a woman purported to be an alleged suspect

 CCTV image shows a woman purported to be an alleged suspect

According to the police officer, the female suspect seen on CCTV – who was wearing a shirt with the letters “LOL” written across it – had apparently been “left behind” by the other assailants, of which there are reportedly two female and four male suspect.

The latest arrest follows the detention of a taxi driver who reportedly drove two female suspects from the airport following the incident.

The taxi driver reportedly told police the suspects appeared to be agents of a foreign country, but he would not speculate the validity of reports that they were hired by the North Korean leader to carry out the alleged murder.

In the lead-up to his death, Mr Kim “felt like someone grabbed or held his face from behind”, according to police official Fadzil Ahmat. He subsequently died in an ambulance on the way to hospital.

Mr Kim was estranged from his younger brother, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and has spoken out against his family's dynastic control of North Korea in the past.

South Korean intelligence said they had been informed by spy agencies that the young, unpredictable North Korean leader had issued a “standing order” for his half-brother's assassination, but it is currently unclear whether the North Korean leader was behind his brother's death.

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