Thursday, 16 February 2017

Mysterious Murder of Kim Jong-nam

Kim Jong-nam traveled between Macau, China and Paris
The news of the murder of Kim Jong-un's half-brother on Monday is shocking news, and now three suspects have been arrested.

One woman carrying a Vietnamese passport was arrested yesterday. She was seen on CCTV footage at Kuala Lumpur International Airport wearing a white long-sleeved shirt with "LOL" on it, and a long skirt.

CCTV footage of one of the women who was arrested
Is she trying to be ironic?

The other two are an Indonesian woman and Malaysian man.

Kim Jong-nam, 45, was attacked at in the shopping area of the airport before he passed through immigration. There are still questions over what exactly happened -- one story is that two women put a sheet over his head that had poisonous chemicals on it, another is that poisonous darts were shot at him.

But many believe North Korea was behind the assassination, demonstrating Kim Jong-un's undisputed power in eliminating any other critics and rivals in his way.

According to Kim Jong-nam's friends in Macau who knew him as "John", he didn't speak much about the regime in North Korea, but knew he was living on borrowed time, as there had been assassination attempts on him before.

It is believed Kim's son in his early 20s, daughter and wife all live in Macau.

Kim Jong-nam (right) with his father Kim Jong-il
As the oldest son, Kim was believed to be the potential heir to Kim Jong-il, but after he entered Japan illegally to visit Disneyland in 2001 on a false Dominican Republic passport, his prospects ended.

Kim never contested his younger half brother for the leadership, and instead moved to Macau. According to his friend, Kim traveled between Macau, China and Paris, where he liked French wines and food.

Before moving to Macau, Kim had reportedly held senior posts in the Pyongyang government, working in information technology and domestic intelligence.

"He didn't talk much about his brother or the regime, although sometimes he would crack jokes about it," Kim's friend says. "He was mostly reserved in that regard. He never hid that he had some political aspirations. He did not want to succeed his father and he did not agree with his brother's regime, but I think he hoped one day he could play some political role in his country."

The following days and months will reveal more about the autopsy results of the body and perhaps more on why and how Kim was murdered. And to do the dirty deed in another country raises many diplomatic issues...

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