A Malaysian Court on Wednesday charged two women with murder in the killing of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half-brother.
The charge carries a mandatory death sentence if it results in a conviction.
The two women were seen leaving the Sepang magistrate courthouse Wednesday morning handcuffed and wearing bulletproof vests.
Doan Huong, a 29-year-old Vietnamese woman, and Siti Aishah, a 25-year-old from Indonesia, allegedly poisoned Kim by wiping a highly toxic chemical nerve agent on his face at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on February 13.
The “VX” nerve agent allegedly used in the attack is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.
The deadly chemical killed Kim within 15 to 20 minutes, Malaysia’s health minister has said.
On Tuesday, Pyongyang sent a diplomatic delegation to Malaysia seeking the release of Kim’s body.
Ri Ton Il, the former North Korean deputy ambassador to the United Nations who was among the diplomats sent to Kuala Lumpur, said the purpose of his visit was “to discuss the body of the deceased DPRK citizen who died in Malaysia.’’
He also intended “to question the arrest of the DPRK citizen’’ in relation to the case, he said.
Officials have said almost nothing publicly about a North Korean man being held in remand by Malaysian police.
Police are still searching for a total of seven North Koreans believed to be linked to the killing, including a diplomat at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur and an airline worker with Air Koryo, the state national airline.
Police asked Interpol to issue an alert for four who fled Malaysia to Pyongyang on the same day of Kim’s murder.
The remaining three are thought to be in Malaysia. (dpa/NAN)