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North Korean murder suspects may have been duped into attack

Suspects in North Korean murder may have been duped into attack

PETALING JAYA: The two women suspected to have murdered North Korean Kim Jong Nam, 45, had apparently been living in China for the past three months before their deadly "assignment".

The Star quoted a report in China Press, saying that both Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 29, may not be North Korean agents, but were possibly duped by a spy ring to commit the assassination.

Indonesian national Siti Aisyah was the second suspect to be arrested at 2am on Thursday while Doan - a Vietnamese - was arrested a day earlier.

The two women were said to have stayed in China for between one and three months to get to know a certain man.

During this time, they also worked as female escorts, reported China Press.

It reported that the man they befriended was a spy who introduced Doan to the four men whom police are hunting in connection with the assassination.

Siti Aisyah got involved when Doan was asked by the man to find a partner to shoot a prank video.

The two women, who knew each other, apparently rehearsed the "spoof" many times and were able to carry out the process proficiently.

The report also said that Siti Aisyah was tasked with using a handkerchief to cover Mr Kim's face while Doan administered an injection.

The two women have claimed that they had no idea that it would lead to trouble as they thought it was only supposed to be a filming of the prank being carried out.

China Press reported that Siti Aisyah claims she only met the other male suspects recently, and was unaware of who either North Korean leader Kim Jong Un or his estranged half-brother Kim Jong Nam was.

She claimed she was paid US$100 (S$140) to pull off the "prank".

Mr Kim Jong Nam, 45, was killed by two women who splashed his face with a chemical at the KLIA2 departure hall at about 9am on Monday as he was about to leave for Macau.

The women later got into a taxi and fled.

Kim murder suspect has two IDs: Report

PETALING JAYA One of the two suspects in the murder of Mr Kim Jong Nam, an Indonesian woman, is apparently divorced with a young son.

She also has two different identities.

Malaysian authorities identified her as Siti Aisyah, 25, from Serang, Indonesia, based on the passport she was holding when she was arrested, The Star reported.

But according to Indonesian news portal Kumparan, based on identification records held by her village in Angke, Jakarta West, she had two separate entries, complete with different photos.

In the first, her name is spelt as Siti Aisyah, and she is listed as being born on Feb 11, 1992.

In the second, her name is written as Siti Aisah. Her date of birth is listed as Nov 1, 1989.

Kumparan reported that the identification numbers, as well as the occupations, on both entries differed.

It quoted Angke village head, Mr Dwi Ariyono, as saying he did not know why she had two separate identifications.

She is also divorced, according to Indonesian news portal Detik.com.

Her mother-in-law told Indonesian foreign ministry officials yesterday she and her family had no relationship with her since she divorced her husband.

Kumparan reported that Siti's involvement in the murder began when she was approached by a man at the nightclub she worked at in Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said Siti is merely a victim of manipulation or fraud.

Detik.com reported that Mr Jusuf said he is confident Siti is not a Korean agent, adding that if she is guilty, she would have gone off the radar completely.

It also reported that a "citizens' protection team" from Indonesia's foreign affairs ministry had arrived in Malaysia to assist her.

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