WASHINGTON – Three suspects have been arrested in connection to the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s exiled half brother, Kim Jong Nam, multiple media outlets have quoted Malaysian authorities as having said.
The suspects, two women and a man, were picked up separately by Malaysian police following the assassination of Kim at Kuala Lumpur airport on Monday, according to ABC News.
Kim Jong Nam was at the Kuala Lumpur airport en route to Macau, a Chinese territory, to see his family, according to CNN. At the airport he was attacked by two women, who poisoned him, and proceeded to go to a ticket counter for help. He was brought to a clinic at the airport and then sent to a hospital for treatment, but died en route.
His autopsy has been complete, according to BERNAMA, but officials have declined to reveal details on the cause of death or when the remains would be claimed.
Kim Jong Nam had been traveling with two passports, under the name Kim Chol, according to CNN.
Kim Jong Nam, the eldest of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, is said to have once been the apparent heir but was banished from the country, having lost favor with his father in 2001 after attempting to use forged documents to try to visit Tokyo Disneyland.
North Korean diplomats had tried to persuade Kim Jong-nam to return home voluntarily shortly before his death, according to Radio Free Asia (RFA).
“Kim Jong-un was apparently worried about Kim Jong-nam fleeing to the United States or South Korea out of fear of being killed,” an unnamed official told the broadcaster. “Kim Jong-un is believed to have ordered that Kim Jong-nam to be assassinated before he sought asylum overseas.”