MARY GRACE COSTA WRITES – It’s all fun and games until you’re charged with accessory to murder. A woman allegedly involved in the assassination of Kim Jong Nam claims that she thought she was carrying out a harmless prank rather than someone’s political agenda.
On February 13, local South Korean news reported that Kim Jong Nam, elder brother to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur. Security camera footage of a young woman identified the assassin as Vietnamese national, Doan Thi Huong.
Three days later, Malaysian police took Indonesian national, Siti Aisyah, 25, into custody under suspicion that she was involved in the attack as well. Aisyah says that she was offered $100 to be a part of the stunt, which she believed was to be part of a popular comedy television show, “Just For Laughs.”
Kim Jong Nam was about to board a plane in Kuala Lumpur bound for Macau when Aisyah approached and distracted him. Meanwhile, one of the other women approached Kim from behind and sprayed his face with poison. The Straits Times reports that the whole operation took no more than five seconds to carry out, and Kim died before he could reach a hospital.
South Korean intelligence has a few theories behind Kim Jong Un’s motives for assassinating his elder brother. Chief among those theories is that the North Korean leader believed his brother was becoming too cozy with South Korea and the U.S. after falling out of favor with the family in 2001. Kim Jong Nam had apparently been living in exile since his brother’s rise to power in 2012.
Meanwhile, authorities are still searching for other suspects in connection with the assassination. Aisyah and others may find this a steep price to pay for a joke gone wrong.