Two more suspects held over Kim killing

A second suspect has been arrested in connection with the death of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Malaysia's state news agency Bernama says.

A Malaysian official told CNN that he was then taken to an airport clinic, which made a decision to send him to the hospital.

"Based on the understanding that this case is of great importance, our government is keeping close tabs on North Korea's movements", Mr Hwang said during a special session of his country's national security council on Wednesday. According to local media, this was the same woman whose image was captured in a grainy airport CCTV image wearing a white shirt with the acronym "LOL" on it.

The female suspects were identified using surveillance footage from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where Kim Jong Nam suddenly fell ill Monday morning before dying on the way to the hospital.

On Monday, the leader's estranged brother was attempting to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to the Chinese territory of Macau when he said he was sprayed with a chemical thought to be a poison, and died shortly thereafter.

Malaysian officials have provided few other details about why they believe Kim died in a targeted killing.

Indonesian diplomats met with the second suspect and confirmed she is an Indonesian citizen, officials said.

The Indonesian government has asked for access to her so that its embassy employees in Kuala Lumpur can provide legal assistance.

A senior Malaysian police official told the AP that "North Korea had objected to the autopsy but Malaysia went ahead with it anyway because the North did not submit a formal protest".

Police say he is not believed to have been directly involved or a suspect, despite reports identifying him as a "third suspect", but that he had provided information which had led to the arrest of Aishah.

The Malaysian police and the government source's accounts of what happened in the departure hall contradicted early media reports that Kim Jong Nam had been poisoned by injection with a needle.

Last week, a South Korean newspaper, The Kyunghyang Shinmun, reported that, during the 2000s, he had carried messages between President Park Geun-hye, who is now suspended amid impeachment proceedings, and then-leader Kim Jong-il - revelations that could threaten the North's official line that its leaders are the only legitimate ones on the Korean peninsula.

Mr Kim was known to have spent most of his time outside North Korea and had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of the isolated state.

Malaysian authorities said on Thursday that they had completed an autopsy on Kim Jong-nam, despite objections from North Korea.

Three suspects - two women and a man - were arrested separately Wednesday and Thursday.

The men were said to have been monitoring the operation from Nyonya restaurant at the airport, before the group split. Following Jong-Nam's death, that number has increased to 20, he said.

  • Elsie Buchanan