Timeline: The 'assassination' of Kim Jong Nam

Timeline: The 'assassination' of Kim Jong Nam

What happened to the half-brother of Kim Jong Un at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2? Who has been arrested for the suspected murder?

Kim Jong Nam file photo

KUALA LUMPUR: On the morning of Feb 13, Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was at Malaysia’s low-cost Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) and headed for his flight to Macau where he lives in exile.

He never made it home.

Here is a recap of the alleged assassination and the ensuing fallout.

FEB 13, 2017

As the portly 46-year-old was walking through the departure hall just after 8am, two women who had been tailing him struck, according to Malaysian police.

One of the women allegedly distracted Kim while another either sprayed an unknown liquid on him, or grabbed his face from behind and clamped a cloth believed to be soaked in a chemical to it.

Kim sought help at the airport’s help desk, telling a receptionist there he felt dizzy. According to China Press, his last words were: “Very painful, very painful, I was sprayed with liquid.”

He was taken to a clinic one floor down from the arrival hall. At that point, he experienced mild seizure and was on the verge of passing out, reports said. An ambulance was called and he was sent to the Putrajaya Hospital close by.

“He died on the way to hospital,” a senior police source told ChannelNewsAsia.

FEB 14

A day later, South Korean media broke news of the death citing intelligence sources. Early reports allege that he was attacked with poison needles or splashed with an unknown liquid. Malaysian officials would only confirm that a Korean man, carrying travel documents under the name Kim Chol, died on the way to hospital.

FEB 15

On Wednesday, Seoul's unification ministry said the South Korean government is confident the "murdered man" was Kim Jong Nam, saying North Korea had been planning to kill him for the past five years.

Malaysian police announced the arrest of a woman holding a Vietnamese passport who matched CCTV footage of the alleged attackers. The suspect is identified as 28-year-old Doan Thi Huong.

CCTV images of the suspected attackers were published by the media and one of the women reportedly involved is seen sporting a white blouse with "LOL" written in front.

North Korean assasins

An autopsy on the body at Kuala Lumpur Hospital was also completed on Wednesday evening to the objection of North Korea, which wanted the body released immediately for cremation.

FEB 16

Malaysia's deputy prime minister confirmed three days after the North Korean man who died was Kim Jong Nam. Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the press that Kim Jong Un's half-brother had travelled with a passport with the name “Kim Chol”.

Earlier that day 2am, an Indonesian by the name of Siti Aisyah, 25, was arrested. Her boyfriend, Malaysian Muhammad Farid Jalaluddin, 26, was picked up by police as well to assist in investigations.

FEB 17

On Friday, Malaysian authorities said they would not release the body of Kim Jong Nam until his family has provided a DNA sample.

At about 11.40pm, the North Korean envoy to Malaysia was spotted at Hospital Kuala Lumpur trying to gain access to the National Institute of Forensic Medicine at where Kim Jong Nam’s body is being held. He read out a statement accusing Malaysia of "forcing" a post-mortem on the body and alleged that it was "colluding with hostile forces" by rejecting demands to release the body.

In response, Malaysia’s police chief said: "Whilst in Malaysia, everyone has to obey our rules and regulations ...that includes North Korea."

Channel NewsAsia spoke to people in the hometown of the Indonesian suspect in Kim Jong Nam's death and is told the woman is "very timid" and very much an "introvert".

FEB 18
A fourth suspect, a North Korean identified as Ri Jong Chol, is arrested for the death of Kim, Malaysian authorities said.

Meanwhile the Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla told the media he believes Kim is a "victim of a victim", saying the Indonesian suspect detained had thought the alleged attack at the airport was part of a reality TV gag.

Latest updates:

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Kim Jong Nam was the eldest son of North Korea’s late leader Kim Jong-il. Unlike most of his isolated countrymen, he had a cosmopolitan upbringing and was educated at the International School of Geneva and Lycée Français Alexandre Dumas in Moscow.

He was considered to be in training as North Korea’s next supreme leader during the 1990s, but fell out of favour with his father after he was caught trying to enter Japan in 2001 on a fake passport to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

His birth was considered shameful because his father and mother, actress Sung Hye Rim, were unmarried.

He went into exile and was known to be living in Macau from around 2003, but also had relatives, including at least three children with three different women – two wives and one mistress – living in Beijing, according to South Korea’s intelligence service. His travels and good life were documented on a Facebook page under the name "Kim Chol", which some say may have been his undoing.

Source: CNA/ac