N. Korean sus­pect is son of ex-en­voy to Viet­nam, says re­port

New Straits Times - - News -

HANOI: A North Korean sus­pect linked to the mur­der of Kim Jong-nam, the es­tranged half brother of the North Korean pres­i­dent Kim Jong-un, is re­port­edly a son of the for­mer top North Korean en­voy to Viet­nam.

Yon­hap News Agency yes­ter­day quoted sources as say­ing that Ri Ji-hyon, 33, is the son of Ri Hong, for­mer North Korean am­bas­sador to Hanoi.

It is said that Ri had lived in Viet­nam for about 10 years.

The news re­ported that Ri was sus­pected of lur­ing Viet­namese Doan Thi Huong, 29, into the plot to kill Kim Jong­nam in Malaysia on Feb 13.

The sources said Ri worked as a trainee diplo­mat at the em­bassy in Viet­nam for more than a year in Novem­ber 2009. He also worked as an in­ter­preter.

Ri is one of four North Korean sus­pects who were at klia2 and ob­served from afar as two fe­male sus­pects smeared VX nerve agent on Jong-nam’s face.

Ri and the other ac­com­plices — Hong Song-hac, 34; O Jong-gil, 55; and Ri Jae­nam, 57 — fled Malaysia right af­ter the ex­e­cu­tion of the killing and were be­lieved to have re­turned to Py­ongyang.

Yon­hap re­ported the sources as say­ing that Ri and Jae-nam are be­lieved to have vis­ited Viet­nam last De­cem­ber in a bid to find a Viet­namese cit­i­zen to join the plot.

The duo and Huong went to Cam­bo­dia to go through trial runs with her prior to what she be­lieved to be a show, said the sources.

Mean­while, Ja­pan broad­caster NHK re­ported that O Jong­gil had a stint as the sec­ond sec­re­tary at the North Korean Em­bassy in In­done­sia. It is said that O Jong-gil had played his part in re­cruit­ing In­done­sian sus­pect Siti Aisyah, 25.

It is said that O Jong-gil is also flu­ent in the In­done­sian lan­guage.

The sources, as re­ported by Yon­hap, said that Siti Aisyah had sim­i­lar prac­tice runs at a dif­fer­ent place in Cam­bo­dia.

In­spec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar de­clined to com­ment on the re­ports by Yon­hap.

PIC BY EIZAIRI SHAMSUDIN

De­wan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mu­lia and Speaker of the South Korean National Assem­bly Chung Sye-kyun at Par­lia­ment House in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

Ri Ji-hyon

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