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“Pyongyang wanted to scare the world”: how and why Kim Jong-Yin’s brother was killed

In Malaysia, the trial of the alleged killers of the cousin of the head of North Korea began. The authorities suspect the involvement of the DPRK.

The alleged perpetrator of the murder of Aisha City. AFP photo
The alleged perpetrator of the murder of Aisha City. AFP photo

On October 2 in Malaysia , a court began on the case of Kim Jong-Nam, the cousin of the DPRK leader, Kim Jong-Nama. The alleged performers are arrested: Aisha City from Indonesia and Doan Ti Huong from Vietnam. They face the death penalty. Girls deny guilt and claim that they were framed.

The murder of Nam took place in February 2017 at the Malaysian airport. Two girls ran up to him and ran their hands over his face. The arms were covered with a rare and very effective nerve agent VX. Within 20 minutes the cousin of the DPRK leader died.

The American edition of GQ released detailed material about the arrested girls, who may have been the victim of the plan of North Korean agents.  brought out the main thing from the investigation.

Day of death

On the morning of February 13, a young girl, Aisha City from Indonesia, ran up to Kim Jong Nam at an international airport in Kuala Lumpur. She closed the man’s eyes and ran her hands around his mouth. A second later, another girl, Vietnamese resident Doan Ti Huong, in a T-shirt with the inscription “LOL” came to Nam and also wiped her hands on his face. Then both disappeared in the crowd.

The substance, which immediately penetrated the body of the politician, is called VX. It is a nerve agent that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers the most powerful of all nervous agents, and the United Nations classifies as weapons of mass destruction.

Kim Jong-Nam. Photos East News
Kim Jong-Nam. Photos East News

First, Nam began to refuse the muscles of the whole body, there were strong convulsions. Tortured with pain, the politician headed for the toilet to wash off the remains of the substance from his face. As GQ notes, this could save his life, but at the last moment We went to the information desk. A few minutes later he died in an ambulance.

The authorities found 120 thousand dollars in Nama’s bag. The experts referenced by GQ suggested that he received them for draining North Korean intelligence data to CIA agents. From the Malaysian airport, he was going to fly to a family in Macau.

Recording an attack on Nam

Two heirs of the DPRK

Kim Jong-Nam was 12 years older than his cousin Kim Jong-un. In the late 90’s, he was considered the most likely heir to the then head of North Korea, Kim Jong Il. However, the prospect of becoming a leader of the North Korean nation did not interest Nam. His friends claimed that he was constantly depressed and dreamed of moving to the West. Probably, this idea appeared after his studies at a private school in Switzerland.

In 2001, Nam was arrested while trying to enter Japan on a fake Dominican passport. The politician then said that he only wanted to visit Tokyo’s Disneyland. After this incident, the father became disillusioned with his son, and Nam moved to China and never visited the DPRK again.

In 2011, Kim Jong Il died. The country was declared an official mourning, and next to his father’s grave was not Nam, but Kim Jong-un. Unlike his cousin, the young heir for many years prepared the ground for government. After the death of his father, Eun became a full-fledged ruler of the DPRK. If you believe South Korean intelligence, it was then that the North Korean leader decided to end his cousin so that he did not try to take away the party chair.

Residents of North Korea after the announcement of the death of Kim Jong Il. Holiday pictures AP
Residents of North Korea after the announcement of the death of Kim Jong Il. Holiday pictures AP

Other data say that Eun began “hunting” for his brother in 2010. Two years later, Nam sent a letter to his cousin. “Please, leave all attempts to punish me and my family. We have nowhere to hide. The only way to escape is to commit suicide, “the former heir allegedly pleaded.

The story of two suspects

29-year-old Vietnamese Doan Ti Huong was arrested the day after the murder. She was born in a small Vietnamese settlement and dreamed of becoming a star of a TV show. At the time of the crime, the girl was a prostitute in Hanoi.

The Indonesian accomplice Huong was detained on the day of the murder. 25-year-old Aisha City officially worked at the Kuala Lumpur Spa, but in fact, too, engaged in prostitution. She spent her childhood in a small village, and in adolescence she married and gave birth to a son.

A few years later the marriage broke up. To feed the child, the City became a sex worker. According to friends, shortly before Nam’s murder, she began using methamphetamine.

“Aisha City dreamed of building a house in her native village and living there with her family,” the friend told the defendant.

At the turn of 2016 and 2017, an old friend brought down the City with a certain James, who introduced himself as a Japanese businessman. The man explained that he was producing a show-joke in which the girls smeared random passers-by lotion. For one prank she was paid $ 100. Given the average daily earnings of a girl ($ 15), her job suited her. City immediately noticed an interesting fact – James always called from the new number.

From January to February, the girl went with James to different cities and practiced in “rallies.” She approached strangers, smeared them with lotion or baby soap, then apologized and ran away. James claimed that this is preparation for the shooting. Apparently, according to the same scheme, James’s accomplices taught Huong.

Aisha City (left) and Doan Ti Huong
Aisha City (left) and Doan Ti Huong

The training continued when James appointed the date of the next drawing – February 13. On that day, the City went to celebrate its 25th birthday and told her friend that soon she would start a star career in Pyongyang. It is still unclear why the girl mentioned the capital of North Korea, if she knew that James was Japanese.

Huong and City met a couple of minutes before the murder of Nam. They were instructed to wash off the substance immediately after contact. A native of Indonesia noted a suspicious fact – the substance on her hands smelled of engine oil, although usually the lotion did not smell. When it was done, the City washed away the substance and went to work, where it was detained.

On separate interrogation both girls declared that they did not plan to kill Nama and believed that they were participating in the rally. When the police brought the City newspaper with a note about the death of Nam, the girl burst into tears.

Details of the killing and involvement of the DPRK

Initially, it was believed that Namah poisoned the standard type of VX. However, experts suggest that the so-called VX2 was used in the murder . Unlike the original, it consists of two parts, which produce a dangerous reaction when mixed. Probably, each of the girls covered her hands with a separate piece. In fact, they caused a reaction directly on Nam’s face, without getting any damage.

The lawyers of the defendants indicate that the girls only listened to the orders of the North Korean agents and did not know that the substance would kill Nama. The police claim the opposite, resting on the recording of surveillance cameras. They show how the girls approach Nam, and then run off to the toilet and wash the substance off their hands.

Malaysian police escort Aisha City. Reuters photo
Malaysian police escort Aisha City. Reuters photo

The US, South Korean and Malaysian authorities claim that James and his assistants, who trained girls, served the secret agency of the DPRK. At the time of the attack on Nam, at least four North Korean agents followed the actions of the alleged performers. After the operation, the main operators changed their clothes at the airport and flew in pre-purchased tickets. They used a complex route to make their actions difficult to track. According to South Korean intelligence, the operation participants returned safely to Pyongyang.

Four North Korean agents and the DPRK ambassador did not have time to fly to Pyongyang immediately after the murder. The Malaysian police wanted to interrogate them, but they took refuge in the local embassy. Representatives of North Korea demanded that their citizens be allowed to fly away and take Nam’s body with them. The Malaysian authorities submitted only after the DPRK threatened not to release the Malaysian citizens who were at that time in the country, including diplomats.

The murder of Nam was carried out with the aim of intimidating the world community, said South Korean professor Nam Sang Wook. “Pyongyang wanted to scare the rest of the world by releasing chemical weapons at the international airport. Kim Jong-un wants to rule for many years and negotiate on the rights of a superpower. The only way to achieve this is to keep the world in awe of their weapons, “the scientist concluded .

On October 2, Malaysia hosted the first court hearing on the death of Nam. The alleged performers did not admit guilt. The prosecution will state its version of what happened before the end of November, the prosecutor plans to bring to court up to 40 witnesses.The Party of Defense will receive the floor in 2018.

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