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Trial Video Provides Clearest Evidence Yet North Korea Behind Murder Of Kim Jong Un’s Brother

Kyodo/via REUTERS

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter

A video revealed during the trial of the two female suspects charged with murdering North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s half brother is strong evidence the regime was behind the unusual hit.

Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam and Siti Aisyah from Indonesia smeared VX, a lethal chemical nerve agent, on Kim Jong Nam’s face at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia in February. After carrying out the hit, the two women met with a North Korean embassy official and an Air Koryo manager, video evidence revealed, according to Reuters.

Prior to the attack, the two women, who claim they were duped into believing they were carrying out a prank rather than an assassination, met with four North Korean men. The meeting was caught on an airport security camera.

Three of the North Korean suspects were seen talking to the embassy official and the airline manager at the main airport terminal, lead police investigator Wan Azirul Nizam Che Wan Aziz introduced. The fourth suspect arrived later, and the official and Air Koryo representative arranged tickets for him as they had done for the other three.

The four North Korean suspects, not including the embassy official and the airline manager, were identified as Hong Song Hac, Ri Ji Hyon, Ri Jae Nam and O Jong Gil.

The U.S. and South Korea have long believed that the attack, which involved a deadly chemical weapon and six North Koreans, was the handiwork of the North Korean regime. Pyongyang, however, has vehemently denied any involvement.

Kim Jong Nam was the oldest son of previous North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. As the third son, Kim Jong Un faced a crisis of legitimacy when he took over for his father over five years ago. His distrust led him to purge hundreds of officials, including members of his own family. The young North Korean dictator is believed to have issued a standing order for the assassination of his exiled half brother shortly after taking power.

Kim Jong Nam reportedly begged his brother to spare his life, but the latter appears to have been unswayed by his pleas.

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