South Korea’s spy agency suspected two women North Korean agents were behind the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother. His body is to undergo an autopsy on Wednesday.
The suspected two women are believed to have used a poison to kill Kim Jong-Nam. Reports from Malaysia and South Korea suggested that he had been stabbed with poison-tipped needles or had chemicals sprayed in his face before fleeing in a taxi.
Pyongyang, Seoul said on Wednesday that the Cold War-style murder was “brutal and inhuman” in nature.
Malaysia police were checking the CCTV footage from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to try to find out what happened with Kim on Monday morning.
Selangor state’s criminal investigation chief Fadzil Ahmat was reported as saying by Malaysia’s The Star newspaper, “He told the receptionist at the departure hall that someone had grabbed his face from behind and splashed some liquid on him. He asked for help and was immediately sent to the airport’s clinic. At this point, he was experiencing headache and was on the verge of passing out.”
He added, “At the clinic, the victim experienced a mild seizure. He was put into an ambulance and was being taken to the Putrajaya Hospital when he was pronounced dead.”
At one time Kim had been set to assume the leadership of his isolated country but fell out of favour after an embarrassing attempt to get into Japan on a fake passport in 2001.
Since then he has lived in exile, mostly in Macau. But he was also spotted in other Asian countries and there he was leading a playboy lifestyle.
He is believed to have been in Malaysia on a passport with a fake name Kim Chol. But on Monday, Seoul confirmed that the victim was a member of the Kim dynasty.
A spokesman for Seoul’s Unification Ministry, Chung Joon-Hee said, “Our government is certain that the murdered man is Kim Jong-Nam.” Acting leader Hwang Kyo-Ahn told in a meeting of top security officials, “If confirmed, the murder of Kim Jong-Nam would be an example that shows the brutality and inhumane nature of the North Korean regime. We`re taking this incident very seriously and we`re keeping close tabs on the North.”
His murder is thought to be the highest-profile death under the Jong-Un regime since the death of his uncle Jang Song-Thaek in 2013.
Cheong Seong-Chang of the independent Sejong Institute in Seoul said Kim Jong-Un saw his brother as a possible competitor for power but his assassination was “unthinkable without a direct order or approval from Kim Jong-Un himself”.
He said Jong-Nam’s killing was probably motivated by a recent report that he had sought to defect to the EU, the US or South Korea as far back as in 2012.