The South Korean government has confirmed that the North Korean citizen assassinated at a Malaysian airport was Kim Jong-un’s half-brother, a media report said on Thursday.
Seoul — on the Malaysian government’s request on Tuesday — carried out a test to compare the fingerprints of the deceased with that of Kim Jong-nam’s, South Korean officials said, Japanese public channel NHK news reported Thursday.
After detecting a similarity between the two impressions, Seoul opened its own investigation into the incident, Efe news reported.
Malaysian authorities had till now only confirmed that a North Korean citizen, who was travelling through Kuala Lumpur International Airport with a passport under the name of Kim Chol, had died in the attack, although South Korea was claiming he was Kim Jong-un’s elder brother.
The victim, born in 1970 in Pyongyang according to his passport died Monday while being transferred to a hospital in Putrajaya (Malaysia’s administrative capital), after he was reportedly attacked by two women who sprayed a chemical on his face.
The police arrested one woman on Wednesday with Vietnamese documents and a second woman on Thursday, in connection with the alleged murder.
Since Wednesday, the body was at the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, where forensic experts carried out an autopsy although the results were yet to be announced.
Kim Jong-nam had been considered best-placed to replace his father as the head of the North Korean regime until he fell out of favour with him at the turn of the century.
Since then he has held no official position in the North Korean regime and has lived mainly in Hong Kong, Macao and Beijing.
Born to dictator Kim Jong-il and his first mistress actress Song Hye-rim, Jong-nam had attracted attention in recent years with his criticism of the North Korean regime’s policies and its succession system through correspondence with a Japanese journalist and in statements to a Japanese television station.