Malaysian police have arrested a second woman, this time an Indonesian, in connection with the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of the North Korean leader.
The woman was identified as Siti Aishah, a 25-year-old Indonesian, according to a statement from Khalid Abu Bakar, the inspector-general of police. She was arrested at about 2 a.m. on Thursday local time.
"She was also positively identified from the CCTV footage at the airport and was alone at the time of arrest," the statement said. No further details were given.
One woman was already in custody, arrested Wednesday morning as she tried to fly out of Kuala Lumpur, and is scheduled to appear in court here Thursday.
The first woman to have been arrested - she was traveling on a Vietnamese passport that identified her as 29-year-old Doan Thi Huong - told police she was tricked into attacking Kim Jong Nam, saying she thought she was just playing a prank on the man, the Star newspaper reported.
She also said she was abandoned by the other woman and four men who were involved in the attack. They had all been staying at a hotel not far from the airport, but the other five left her, she told police, leading to her decision to try to fly to Vietnam from the terminal where the attack took place.
Two women are thought to have attacked Kim Jong Nam, the estranged older half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday morning as he went to check in for a flight to Macau, his main base since he went into exile about 15 years ago.
One of the women is alleged to have grabbed him while the other sprayed his face with a chemical and held a cloth over it for 10 seconds. They left the scene - going down three escalators and buying a taxi voucher before asking to be taken to a hotel - and Kim Jong Nam sought help from airport staff, complaining of dizziness.
He was put into an ambulance and died on the way to the hospital.
South Korea's intelligence chief has put the blame for the attack on Kim Jong Un, saying that the young North Korean leader was trying to eliminate potential rivals.
Five years ago, when he took power, Kim Jong Un issued a "standing order" to have his half brother assassinated, South Korean spy chief Lee Byung-ho told lawmakers in Seoul on Wednesday.
"It was a command that had to be pulled off no matter what," Lee said, according to some of the lawmakers. "Their spy agency had consistently been preparing for the killing, and it just turned out to have been accomplished this time."
This was not the first attempt on Kim Jong Nam's life. One attempt, in 2012, prompted himto send a letter to his younger brother pleading with him to "spare me and my family," lawmakers were told.
This week's successful attack bore many of the hallmarks of other assassinations and attempts blamed on North Korea, including a foiled 2011 plot to kill a North Korean defector at a Seoul subway station with a poison needle hidden in a Parker pen.
North Korean diplomats in Kuala Lumpur tried to stop an autopsy from taking place, saying they wanted the body returned to them, but were unsuccessful.
The autopsy was completed Wednesday night, but the results have not been released.
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