The two women suspected of murdering Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, have pleaded not guilty at their trial in Malaysia.
The brazen nature of Kim Jong-nam’s killing, using the highly toxic VX nerve agent as he waited for a flight at Kuala Lumpur airport in February, shocked the world.
Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 29, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, are accused of rubbing the chemical on Kim Jong-nam’s face.
Doan Thi Huong and Siti Aisyah say it was a TV prank and they were tricked by North Korean agents.
North Korea has denied any involvement in the killing, but in court prosecutors said that four men – believed to be four North Koreans who fled Malaysia on the day of murder – were also charged in the case.
The incident led to a bitter diplomatic row and strained the once cordial ties between North Korea and Malaysia, which expelled each other’s ambassadors.
The trial has been eight months in the making and the two women are the only suspects actually charged so far with the murder of Kim Jong-nam.
After the charges were read to them in court in Indonesian and Vietnamese, the two women entered their pleas through interpreters.
If found guilty, the women face the death penalty. Their defense lawyers are likely to argue that the real culprits are North Korean agents, who left Malaysia.
However, in his opening remarks, the prosecutor said he aims to prove that the women, along with four people still at large, had the “common intention” to kill Kim Jong-nam.
The prosecutor said the women had carried out practice runs in Kuala Lumpur shopping malls before the attack, under the “supervision” of the four people, who were not named in court.
Dozens of witnesses, including airport staff who came into contact with Kim Jong-nam, are expected to take the stand in the trial which will run for weeks.
The murder is notable for its sheer audacity, taking place as it did mid-morning in full view of security cameras at Kuala Lumpur’s airport.
On February 13, the two women were seen threading through crowds of people and accosting Kim Jong-nam, before rubbing their hands on his face.
Then there was the speed with which Kim Jong-nam died. Immediately after the attack he sought help from airport staff, who led him to a clinic, but he collapsed and died just minutes later.
After a post-mortem examination, Malaysian authorities announced Kim Jong-nam had been killed by VX, a toxin so lethal that it is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.
The two women, who were arrested days after the killing, have insisted that they were tricked by North Koreans into taking part in what they thought was a TV prank. Four North Korean men who fled Malaysia shortly after the incident are believed to suspects. In March, Interpol issued “red notices” for the North Koreans arrest.
Malaysia has named and questioned other North Koreans in relation to the case.
However, authorities also allowed three of them to leave the country in late March, in return for North Korea releasing nine Malaysian diplomats and their families.
Kim Jong-nam, who was in his mid-40s, was the estranged older half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
At the time of his death, Kim Jong-nam was believed to have been living in self-imposed exile in Macau and was thought to have had some links to China.
“The body of the DPRK citizen who died in Malaysia and relevant DPRK citizens have returned to the DPRK today via Beijing,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said during a regular press briefing, using the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Three North Koreans who had been wanted for questioning have now been allowed to leave Malaysia, Malaysia’s chief of police said.
Image source Getty Images
“We have obtained whatever we wanted from them” and are “satisfied” with the statements, Khalid Abu Bakar said.
In the wake of Kim Jong-nam’s killing on February 13, Pyongyang reacted angrily when Malaysia refused to hand over the body immediately, without an autopsy.
Malaysian authorities said they had the right to conduct an autopsy as he had been killed on Malaysian soil, and that they would only release the body to Kim Jong-nam’s family.
On March 30, Malysian PM Najib Razak said a formal request had been received from the family, but gave no further details.
A day later, national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said “legally speaking, Kim Jong-un is the next-of-kin” but declined to say who the request had come from.
King Jong-nam’s own family previously lived in Macau but they are now thought to be in hiding.
His son Kim Han-sol appeared in a video earlier this month confirming he was with his mother and sister at an unspecified location.
Although Kim Jong-nam was the eldest son of the former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un was passed over for the leadership and was living outside North Korea at the time of his father’s death.
Kuala Lumpur enacted a tit-for-tat exit ban on North Koreans.
Under the deal, the nine Malaysian nationals returned to Kuala Lumpur on March 31, where they were met by relatives.
They include Malaysia’s counselor to North Korea, Mohd Nor Azrin Md Zain, embassy staff, and their families.
The exact circumstances of how the deal was struck remain unclear. PM Najib Razak described the negotiations as “challenging”.
Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Anifah Aman hailed the exchange as a success of diplomacy and “level-headedness”.
Reuters reported that TV footage showed two North Koreans on the flight to Beijing with the body: Hyon Kwang-song, the second secretary at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and Kim Uk-il, a North Korean state airline employee.
The third was named Ri Ji-u, who had been holed up with them in the North Korean Embassy, Reuters quoted the chief of police as saying.
A mystery video of Kim Jong-nam’s son has emerged amid investigation of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s murder.
In the short and censored clip, the young man says: “My name is Kim Han-sol, from North Korea, part of the Kim family.”
Kim Jan-sol says he is with his mother and sister, but there are no details on the date or location. It’s the Kim family’s first public comment since Kim Jong-nam’s assassination in Malaysia.
Kim Jong-nam was killed in a Kuala Lumpur airport on February13 by attackers who smeared his face with VX nerve agent.
Officials at South Korea’s Unification Ministry and National Intelligence Service have confirmed that the man in the video is Kim Han-sol.
The 40-second clip features the man identified as Kim Han-sol sitting against a grey wall. In perfect, slightly accented English, he introduces himself and says: “My father has been killed a few days ago. I’m currently with my mother and my sister.”
Kim Han-sol shows what appears to be a North Korean diplomatic passport to confirm his identity, though the details have been blocked out, and says he is “grateful to…” before the audio and image are censored.
The man ends by saying: “We hope this gets better soon.”
The video was put online by a group called the Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD) – they have not previously been heard of, and appear to have registered a website and YouTube account only recently.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said the group presumably assists escaping North Koreans – there is a town south-west of Pyongyang named Cheollima. They sent the video link to the Malaysia correspondent for Channel News Asia.
A message in English on the CCD site said it had responded to a request for protection from “survivors of the family of Kim Jong-nam”.
“We have in the past addressed other urgent needs for protection. This will be the first and last statement on this particular matter, and the present whereabouts of this family will not be addressed.”
The group also thanked several countries for offering emergency humanitarian assistance, including the Netherlands, China and the US and “a fourth government to remain unnamed”, while giving particular thanks to the Netherlands ambassador in South Korea, AJA Embrechts.
Kim Han-sol is believed to be 21, and has lived a low-profile life since his father’s exile, growing up in Macau and China.
In 2012, Kim Han-sol appeared in a TV interview for Finnish TV from Bosnia, where he was studying, saying he had never met his powerful uncle or his grandfather, the late Kim Jong-il.
Kim Han-sol said he had “always dreamed that one day I would go back and make things better and make it easier for the people” of North Korea.
In a growing row over the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, North Korea and Malaysia have banned each other’s citizens from leaving their countries.
The extraordinary actions come amid North Korean fury at Malaysia’s ongoing investigation into Kim Jong-nam’s death at a Kuala Lumpur airport. He was killed with potent VX nerve agent.
Malaysia has not directly blamed North Korea for the killing of the North Korean leader’s half-brother, but there is widespread suspicion Pyongyang was responsible.
North Korea has fiercely denied any accusations of culpability and the row over the assassination – and who has the right to claim Kim Jong-nam’s body – has rapidly escalated over the past two weeks.
Both Malaysia and North Korea have already expelled each other’s ambassadors.
North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said on March 7 that “all Malaysian nationals in the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will be temporarily prohibited from leaving the country until the incident that happened in Malaysia is properly solved”.
It said this was to ensure the safety of it citizens and diplomats in Malaysia.
Malaysians in North Korea country would be able to carry on their lives as normal, it added.
Image source Getty Images
Furiously, Malaysian PM Najib Razak said it was an “abhorrent act” which was “in total disregard of all international law and diplomatic norms”.
Malaysians were effectively being held hostage in North Korea, the prime minister said in a statement.
He said: “Protecting our citizens is my first priority, and we will not hesitate to take all measures necessary when they are threatened.”
Initially, Deputy PM and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that in response, North Korean embassy staff and officials would not be allowed to leave.
“We need to take similar steps as they have manipulated the murder,” he was quoted as saying.
Malaysian officials have said there are believed to be 11 Malaysian citizens currently in North Korea, mostly diplomats. They also estimate there are about 1,000 North Koreans currently in Malaysia.
Until last week, North Koreans did not need a visa to enter Malaysia.
Such actions are highly unusual. Under Article 13 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, “everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country”.
Malaysia has signed that declaration, but North Korea has not.
The ban also breaks the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which both countries have ratified.
A post-mortem examination on Kim Jong-nam’s body found he was killed by a dose of VX nerve agent, a substance classified as a weapon of mass destruction, as he waited to board a flight to Macau on February 13.
So far, only two people – an Indonesian woman and a Vietnamese woman – have been charged with murder. They have said they thought they were taking part in a TV prank.
A detained North Korean was released last week because of lack of evidence, but Malaysia is seeking a number of other North Koreans, including a diplomat.
On March 7, Malaysia’s police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said he believed two of those suspects were hiding inside the North Korean embassy compound in Kuala Lumpur.
“We will wait and if it takes five years we will wait outside, definitely somebody will come out,” he told reporters.
Armed police have been deployed outside the North Korean embassy, cordoning it off, Malaysian media reported.
Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam and Siti Aisyah from Indonesia are accused of smearing the nerve agent on Kim Jong-nam’s face while he was preparing to fly out of the budget airport in Kuala Lumpur.
Ri Jong-chol, who has lived in Malaysia for the last three years, was arrested four days later. Police did not provide details on why he had been detained.
On March 2, officials said Ri Jong-chol will be deported because he does not have valid travel documents.
Reuters reported that the North Korean held a work permit that was valid till February 6, 2017.
Diplomatic ties between North Korea and Malaysia were initiated in the 1970s, and as trade in resources such as palm oil and steel increased, North Korea eventually established an embassy in Kuala Lumpur in 2003.
However, Kim Jong-nam’s death has converted this relationship into a full-blown diplomatic rift, with Malaysia even recalling its ambassador from Pyongyang.
The two women implicated in the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged brother of North Korea’s leader, are Doan Thi Huong and Siti Aisyah.
Little is known about Doan Thi Huong and Siti Aisyah except that they had left their homes in different parts of Asia and were trying to make a living in Malaysia.
According to Malaysian police officials, Doan Thi Huong, a 28-year-old from Vietnam, is an “entertainment outlet employee” while Siti Aisyah, a 25-year-old from Indonesia, was working in a hotel massage parlor.
Doan Thi Huong’s Facebook page, in which she posted under the name Ruby Ruby, showed her posing in a number of selfies and glamour shots. There are rumors she once auditioned for Vietnam’s version of Pop Idol.
Image source Reuters
Her family said she left her home village in north Vietnam at 17 to study in the capital Hanoi, and had rarely returned home since. They said they were surprised to learn she was in Malaysia.
Her stepmother said that the family was fed up with all the attention they had received, but were grateful for the support of their neighbors.
Siti Aisyah was arrested for the killing along with her 26-year-old Malaysian boyfriend, who was later released on bail.
She told the Indonesian embassy officials that she thought she was taking part in a reality TV show, and had been paid 400 Malaysian ringgit ($90) to smear what she thought was baby oil on to Kim Jong-nam’s face.
Siti Aisyah was out partying with her friends the night before the killing. A friend, who spoke anonymously, said they were celebrating her birthday, which had been the day before. Film footage purportedly from the evening shows her talking with friends about becoming an internet star.
Other suspects in Kim Jong-nam’s assassination are:
Ri Jong-chol, 47, is a North Korean who has lived in Malaysia for the last three years. He is in Malaysian detention.
The Malaysian boyfriend of Siti Aisyah, Muhammad Farid Jalaluddin, was arrested but police said he would be released on bail.
Hyon Kwang Song, 44, second secretary at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur is being sought by police. He is believed to be in the embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Kim Uk-il, 37, is a staff member of North Korea’s state airline Air Koryo, and is also believed to still be in Malaysia.
Ri Ju-u, 30, a North Korean also known as “James”, has been identified by the women as the man who recruited them.
Ri Ji-hyon, 33, a North Korean, is believed to have fled to Pyongyang.
Hong Song-hac, 34, a North Korean, is believed to have fled to Pyongyang.
O Jong-gil, 55, a North Korean, is believed to have fled to Pyongyang.
Ri Jae-nam, 57, a North Korean, is believed to have fled to Pyongyang.
Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam and Siti Aisyah from Indonesia are among some ten suspects identified by Malaysia as being involved in the killing.
The other suspects include a senior official at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur and a staff member of the state airline. South Korea believes at least four suspects are North Korean spies.
A high-level delegation from North Korea – led by the former ambassador to the UN – arrived in Kuala Lumpur on February 28.
They said they were seeking the retrieval of the body and the release of Ri Jong Chol, as well as the “development of friendly relationships” between North Korea and Malaysia.
North Korea has not confirmed that the person killed on February 13 at Kuala Lumpur airport was Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of leader Kim Jong-un, saying only he was a North Korean traveling on a diplomatic passport.
Kim Jong-nam, 42, was at a check-in desk for a flight to Macau, where he lives, when he was accosted.
Kim Jong-un’s brother was smeared with a very high amount of the toxic nerve agent VX and died in pain within 15-20 minutes, Malaysia’s health minister said on February 26.
Kim Jong-nam was given a very high amount of the toxic nerve agent VX and he died in pain within 15-20 minutes, Malaysia’s health minister says.
No antidote would have worked, said Subramaniam Sathasivam.
The half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un died two weeks ago after two women accosted him in a check-in hall at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The women say they thought they were doing a TV prank. North Korea denies killing the high-profile critic of the regime.
VX is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the UN. A drop on the skin can kill in minutes.
One of two women held, Siti Aisyah, a 25-year-old Indonesian national, told officials from her country’s embassy that she was given 400 Malaysian ringgit ($90) to smear Kim Jong-nam’s face with “baby oil” as part of a reality show joke.
Doan Thi Huong, a 28-year-old Vietnamese national, has also said she thought she was taking part in a TV prank.
Malaysian police say the attackers had been trained to wash their hands immediately after the attack.
Some experts have suggested that they might have each smeared two different non-lethal elements of VX, which became deadly when mixed on Kim Jong-nam’s face.
A North Korean man has also been arrested in connection with the killing.
At least seven other suspects are wanted for questioning by police, including 44-year-old Hyon Kwang Song, second secretary at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
On February 26, Malaysian authorities swept the airport and declared it safe.
They are also analyzing samples found at a flat said to have been rented by suspects.
A senior North Korean embassy official is wanted by Malaysian police for questioning in connection with the assassination of Kim Jong-un’s half brother, Kim Jong-nam.
Hyon Kwang-song is one of three North Koreans being sought, along with an employee of the state airline.
Malaysian police also confirmed Kim Jong-nam died after two women wiped a toxin on him at Kuala Lumpur airport.
North Korea’s embassy in Malaysia angrily denied the claims.
In a statement, the North Korean embassy said the fact that the substance was on the hands of the women proved it could not have been a poison and called for the immediate release of the “innocent females” and a North Korean man.
Speaking at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on February 22, Malaysian Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar said they were looking for three North Koreans in addition to the previously announced suspects.
One of them is Hyon Kwang-song, 44, the second secretary of the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
The others are Kim Uk-il, 37, who works for Air Koryo, and another North Korean Ri Ju U.
Khalid Abu Bakar said they had written to the North Korean ambassador to Malaysia asking him to allow police to interview Hyon Kwang-song and the other suspects.
If the ambassador does not co-operate, “we will compel them to come to us”, he said, without giving details.
The police chief also said security had been stepped up at the morgue where Kim Jong-nam’s body is being kept after an attempted break-in earlier in the week.
Ten people have either been named as suspects or are wanted by Malaysian police for questioning in connection to Kim Jong-nam’s assassination.
In an escalating row over the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Malaysia has stepped up diplomatic measures against North Korea.
On February 13, Kim Jong-nam died in mysterious circumstances at an airport in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysian police believe he was poisoned.
Malaysia has recalled its ambassador from the North Korea and has summoned the North Korean ambassador “to seek an explanation”.
Malaysian police say they are now looking for four North Korean suspects.
Meanwhile, a video which apparently shows CCTV footage of the attack on Kim Jong-nam has surfaced and aired on Japan’s TV.
Despite widespread speculation that North Korea was behind the killing, there has been no definitive evidence and Pyongyang has not issued an official statement yet.
On February 17, North Korean ambassador Kang Chol accused the government in Kuala Lumpur of colluding with “hostile forces”, saying that Malaysia had “something to conceal”.
South Korea has accused North Korea of orchestrating the incident, saying on February 20 it was evidence of North Korean “terrorism getting bolder”.
Malaysia was one of very few countries to maintain diplomatic relations with North Korea, but this killing has strained ties.
It has refused to accede to North Korean demands to release Kim’s body into their custody without an autopsy.
That apparently prompted the comments on February 17 by North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia – which provoked an angry response from the Malaysian foreign ministry.
It said his accusation was “baseless”, adding that it was their responsibility to conduct an investigation as Kim Jong-nam had died on Malaysian soil.
Malaysian authorities are now waiting for the results of its autopsy. Kang Chol said his country would reject the result as it was done without the presence of its representatives.
Malaysia has also refused to release Kim Jong-nam’s body, saying it needs to conduct DNA testing first.
Police are now seeking samples from family members. Kim Jong-nam is believed to have family living in Beijing and Macau.
Malaysian police have said that if there is no claim by next of kin and once they exhaust all avenues for DNA collection, they will hand the body over to the North Korean embassy.
Kim Jong-nam is believed to have been attacked in the Kuala Lumpur airport departure hall on Monday by two women, using some form of chemical.
Japan’s Fuji TV has aired grainy CCTV footage showing a man resembling Kim Jong-nam approached by a woman at the airport.
Another woman then quickly lunges from behind and wipes his face with a cloth. She is seen wearing a white top emblazoned with the letters “LOL”.
The man is then seen seeking assistance from airport staff while gesturing at his face, and is escorted to a room.
Two women, one Indonesian and one Vietnamese, were among the first to be arrested. The Indonesian, named as Siti Aisyah, is said to have told Malaysian police she had been paid to perform what she thought was a prank.
Malaysian police have arrested a North Korean national over the killing of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam.
The man has been identified as 46-year-old Ri Jong-chol.
An Indonesian woman, a Malaysian man and a woman with a Vietnamese passport were detained earlier.
Malaysian police believe poison was sprayed into Kim Jong-nam’s face as he waited to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Macau.
Malaysian Deputy PM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi formally confirmed on February 16 that the dead man, who was travelling under the name Kim Chol, was Kim Jong-nam.
Police say Ri Jong-chol was detained on February 17 in Selangor, near Kuala Lumpur. No further details were given.
One of the detained women, an Indonesian national named as Siti Aisyah, is said to have told Malaysian police she had been paid to perform what she thought was a prank.
A Malaysian man thought to be her boyfriend was detained along with her.
The woman carrying a Vietnamese passport has been identified as Doan Thi Huong.
Kim Jong-nam is believed to have been attacked in the airport departure hall on February 13 by two women, using some form of chemical.
A grainy image taken from security camera footage, which has been broadcast in South Korea and Malaysia, shows a woman wearing a white T-shirt with the letters “LOL” written on the front.
It is not clear whether either of the detained women is the woman in the footage, and police say they are still looking for “a few” other suspects.
Police have now finished Kim Jong-nam’s post-mortem examination, though the results have not yet been made public.
North Korea has said it will reject the result of the autopsy.
It has demanded that Malaysia immediately release the body. Malaysia is refusing to do so until it receives a DNA sample from Kim Jong-nam’s next-of-kin.
South Korea’s intelligence agency has accused North Korea of assassinating Kim Jong-nam, saying Pyongyang had wanted to kill him for years but that he was being protected by China.
Despite widespread speculation that North Korea was behind the killing, there has been no proof. Pyongyang has made no public comments on the issue.
Kim Jong-nam was largely estranged from his family, after being passed over for the North Korean leadership in favor of his youngest half-brother. He spent most of his time overseas in Macau, mainland China and Singapore.
Malaysian police has detained a female suspect in connection with the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam.
According to police, the woman was arrested at the airport in the capital Kuala Lumpur where Kim Jong-nam was targeted in an apparent poisoning on February 13.
The woman was in possession of a Vietnamese travel document.
Malaysian police say they are looking for “a few” other suspects.
According to police, the arrested suspect, who was alone, was identified from CCTV footage taken at the airport. She has been identified as 28 year-old Doan Thi Huong.
South Korean media have widely reported that two women, said to be North Korean agents, were involved and fled the airport in a taxi, though Malaysian police have not confirmed those details.
A grainy image broadcast in South Korea and Malaysia shows a woman wearing a white T-shirt with the letters “LOL” written on the front.
Malaysia is yet to formally confirm that the dead man is Kim Jong-nam, as he was travelling under a different name – Kim Chol. However, the South Korean government has said it is certain it is him.
The South Korean spy agency is said to have told lawmakers they believe Kim Jong-nam was poisoned.
Earlier, Malaysia state news agency Bernama reported that a woman from Myanmar was detained at the airport. It is unclear if that report was referring to the woman now under arrest.
If confirmed, it would be the most high-profile death linked to North Korea since Kim Jong-un’s uncle, Chang Song-thaek, was executed in 2013.
North Korea has not commented on the death but officials from the country’s Malaysian embassy have been visiting the hospital in Kuala Lumpur where Kim Jong-nam’s body has been taken.
On February 13, Kim Jong-nam was attacked while waiting at the budget terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport for a 10:00 flight to Macau, Malaysian newspaper reports say, quoting police.
Exactly how the attack unfolded is still unclear. Officials and witnesses have variously said he was splashed with a chemical or had a cloth placed over his face. Earlier reports spoke of a “spray” being used or a needle.
Kim Jong-nam died on the way to hospital.
It was not the first time Kim Jong-nam had traveled under an assumed identity: he was caught trying to enter Japan using a false passport in 2001. He told officials he had been planning to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
He was reportedly targeted for assassination in the past. A North Korean spy jailed by South Korea in 2012 is said to have admitted trying to organize a hit-and-run accident targeting him.
North Korea has a long history of sending agents overseas to carry out assassinations, attacks and kidnappings.
Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, has been killed in Malaysia, South Korean and Malaysian sources say.
The 45-year-old is said to have been targeted at the airport in Kuala Lumpur.
According to local media, his body was now undergoing an autopsy.
Kim Jong-nam was the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Malaysian police have confirmed to Reuters that a North Korean man who died in transit to hospital from the airport on February 13 was Kim Jong-nam.
According to a report from TV Chosun, a cable TV network in South Korea, Kim Jong-nam was poisoned at the airport by two women, believed to be North Korean operatives.
In 2001, Kim Jong-nam was caught trying to enter Japan using a false passport. He told officials that he was planning to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
Once seen as a likely successor to Kim Jong-il, he was thought to have fallen out of favor with his father over the incident.
Bypassed in favor of his youngest half-brother for succession when their father died in 2011, Kim Jong-nam kept a low profile, spending most of his time overseas in Macau, Singapore and China.
Kim Jong-nam was quoted by Japanese media in 2011 as saying he opposed “dynastic succession”.
In a 2012 book, he was also quoted as saying he believed his younger half-brother lacked leadership qualities, the succession would not work and that North Korea was unstable and needed Chinese-style economic reform.
Kim Jong-nam was reportedly targeted for assassination in the past. A North Korean spy jailed by South Korea in 2012 was reported to have admitted trying to organize a hit-and-run accident targeting Kim Jong-nam.