A suspect in the killing of the half-brother of North Korea’s leader was due to appear in court Thursday, as Malaysian police searched for others involved in an assassination Seoul says was carried out by Pyongyang’s agents.
Police said the 28-year-old woman, who was carrying a Vietnamese passport, was held overnight following her arrest, after reports said two female assassins sprayed toxins in the victim’s face at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
“We are looking for more suspects,” Selangor state police chief Abdul Samah Mat told AFP, but declined to say how many were being sought, or their nationalities.
The two women struck on Monday as Kim Jong-Nam was readying to board a flight to Macau where he has spent many years in exile, South Korea’s spy chief Lee Byung-Ho has said, pointing the finger of blame at the North.
Malaysian police said Kim, a portly 45-year-old with a playboy reputation, was walking through the departure hall when he was attacked.
CCTV images that emerged in Malaysian media, purportedly of one of the suspects, showed an Asian woman wearing a white top with the letters “LOL” emblazoned on the front.
Kim’s body was Thursday being held at Kuala Lumpur Hospital following an autopsy, the results of which have not yet been released.
Malaysian media cited unnamed official sources as saying North Korea had requested the body, but Abdul Samah said Wednesday that nobody had come forward and that it would remain in the morgue until it was claimed.
However North Korean embassy officials were seen visiting the hospital’s forensics department in a diplomatic vehicle on Wednesday afternoon and again overnight.
If confirmed, the assassination, which analysts said could have been ordered over reports Kim was readying to defect, would be the highest-profile death under the watch of the North’s young leader Kim Jong-Un.
However, in a country with a long record of meting out brutal deaths, he is believed to have also ordered the 2013 execution of his influential uncle, Jang Song-Thaek. – AFP