Kim Jong-un: The death of his brother might be North Korea's most perfectly executed murder

In 2017, Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of the then North Korean ruler, was attacked with a nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia and succumbed to the poisoning he suffered.

kim jong-un's son assassination kim jong-nam
© Mikhail Svetlov/Getty images
kim jong-un's son assassination kim jong-nam

Kim Jong-il's eldest son, Kim Jong-nam, was long regarded as his successor. This changed around 2001, when he wanted to go to Tokyo with a fake passport for a visit to Disneyland. An affront to the anti-American North Korea. As a result, the youngest son, Kim Jong-un, the current ruler, who is said to have had his birthday yesterday, was trained as his successor.

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Kim Jong-nam died under mysterious circumstances in 2017

In February 2017, Kim Jong-il's eldest son died in a hospital in Kuala Lumpur after an attack with the nerve agent XV. This was carried out by two women at the airport, who have since maintained their innocence. An American documentary called 'Assassins' took a closer look at the case in 2020.

In 2016, both women were groomed to participate in a 'hidden camera' type of show for Japanese YouTube. For this, they were supposed to smear people in various Asian countries with harmless substances as a joke. According to their accounts, both of them also assumed this was the case in Kuala Lumpur and knew nothing about an assassination attempt.

According to The Guardian, as the attack was carried out, 'at least found North Korean agents were hiding nearby to witness the public killing and ready with a back-up plan if anything went wrong'.

These same agents would later pass through immigration and board flights out of the country on preplanned routes that avoid countries that could get them arrested. A North Korean diplomat accompanied them.

The two women responsible for the attack found themselves standing trial for the murder. Two former escorts, Siti Aisyah, from Indonesia, and Doan Thi Huong, from Vietnam. The former was acquitted of charges while the latter would be given a deal to accept 10 years in prison or risk being executed if found guilty. She would be sentenced to three years and four months.

It is still unclear who is behind it

North Korea is known for mysterious deaths. For example, an uncle of ruler Kim Jong-un was possibly fed to dogs. There are many rumors about the reasons for the attack on Kim Jong-nam, but the masterminds have not yet been found.

Kim Jong-nam fell out of favor with the North Korean regime over 20 years ago due to his behavior. It is also suspected that he may have worked as an informant for the United States.

This article has been translated from Gentside DE

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Sources used:

Frankfurter Rundschau: The death of Kim Jong Nam: Documentary exposes the "unsuspecting murderers"

Spiegel: Assassination attempt on Kim Jong Un's half-brother - Vietnamese woman faces three years in prison

The Guardian: How North Korea got away with the assassination of Kim Jong-nam

North Korea: Kim Jong-un’s rare admission of weakness North Korea: Kim Jong-un’s rare admission of weakness