Kim Jong-nam: Malaysian police arrest North Korean man in connection with murder

Kim Jong-nam: Malaysian police arrest North Korean man in connection with murder

Kim Jong-nam: Malaysian police arrest North Korean man in connection with murder

Updated 20 February 2017, 17:40 AEDT

A fourth suspect has been arrested in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, who died on Monday after allegedly being poisoned by two women in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian police say they have arrested a North Korean man in connection with the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

The man was identified as Ri Jong-chol, born on May 6, 1970. He was arrested on Friday night (local time) in Selangor state, police said in a statement.

"He is suspected to be involved in the death of a North Korean male," the statement said.

It also said Mr Ri was holding a I-Kad when he was arrested, a document typically issued to foreign workers in Malaysia.

He is the fourth suspect to be arrested in the investigation surrounding the murder of Kim Jong-nam in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.

Kim Jong-nam died on his way to hospital in the Malaysian capital after allegedly being poisoned while he waited for a flight at the city's international airport.

He was estranged from his family in Pyongyang and lived in exile in the Chinese territory of Macau.

South Korea's spy agency said the North Korean regime was responsible for ordering the murder and two women were suspected of killing him.

The arrest comes as Indonesian authorities revealed that their citizen who was arrested over the killing may have thought she was part of a reality television show.

Siti Aisyah was the second woman detained this week after being identified from CCTV vision and arrested.

The first was travelling on Vietnamese documents as Doan Thi Huong, and police have also arrested Ms Siti's boyfriend.

Alleged killers look to be amateurs: former spy

Former North Korean spy Kim Hyon-hui, who bombed a Korean Air jet in 1987 after being trained as a North Korean agent, told a Japanese newspaper it was unthinkable the women received strict training.

"I felt suspicious," Kim Hyon-hui told the paper.

"They don't seem to have taken strict psychological and physical education and training in North Korea,"

She also responded to reports the two women had been lead to believe they were on a prank show.

"They would not have run away if that was the case," Kim Hyon-hui said.

She also emphasised a link with North Korea as the date of the murder was close to the February 16 birthday of the late leader Kim Jong-il, father of Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-nam, and that Kim Jong-il's nephew Lee Han-young was shot dead on February 15, 1997.

Suspected killer 'is a victim of a victim'

Earlier Indonesia's Vice-President Jusuf Kalla told the press in Jakarta that Siti Aisyah may have thought she was appearing "on a reality television show".

"Even though she is a perpetrator she is also a victim, was she not? That's based on the sequence of events given, that's how the reports were given to us," he said.

Indonesia's national police chief, Tito Karnavian, said Ms Siti had been paid to perform a "prank" on men by asking them to close their eyes before spraying them in the face with water, the BBC reported.

"Such an action was done three or four times and they were given a few dollars for it, and with the last victim, Kim Jong-nam, allegedly there were dangerous materials in the sprayer," Mr Karnavian told reporters in Aceh.

"She was not aware that it was an assassination attempt by alleged foreign agents."

Mr Karnavian, who is the most senior police officer in Indonesia, said he was given the information by Malaysian authorities.

Reuters