Suspect accused of killing Kim Jong-Nam claims to have been paid $90 for what she thought was a ‘baby oil’ prank

Siti aisyah
Kim Jong-Nam murder suspect Siti Aisyah, displayed on screen during a press conference at the Bukit Aman national police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. Vincent Thian AP/Press Association Images

The Indonesian woman who is one of the suspects arrested over the killing of the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, has reportedly told authorities she was paid 400 Malaysian riggits ($US90) to carry out what she believed was a prank, The BBC reported.

Kim Jong-Nam died on February 13 after he appeared to be attacked by two women in a Kuala Lumpur Airport. Malaysian officials said test showed he had been poisoned using VX, a highly toxic nerve agent the United Nations classifies as a weapon of mass destruction.

Indonesian embassy officials say Siti Aisyah — a 25-year-old female Indonesian spa masseuse  — said she was paid to smear Kim Jong-Nam’s face with “baby oil” as part of a reality show prank.

According to The BBC, Andreano Erwin, the Indonesian deputy ambassador who met with Aisyah on Saturday, said: “She only said in general that somebody asked her to do this activity. She only said in general she met with some people who looked Japanese or Korean. According to her, that person gave her 400 ringgits to do this activity… She only said she was given a kind of oil, like baby oil.”

The poison does not appear to have affected Aisyah, official said. 

A Vietnamese woman — who was seen wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the words “LOL” in CCTV footage of the airport attack — and a North Korean man have also been arrested in connection with Kim Jong-Nam’s murder. 

Malaysian police also announced on Wednesday that it wanted to question more suspects, including North Korean embassy official Hyon Kwang Song, along with other nationals Kim Uk Il, 37, and Ri Ju U, which prompted an angry response from North Korea. Malaysia has not, however, directly accused North Korea of masterminding the attack.

On February 15, South Korean government officials claimed North Korea’s government had been planning to assassinate Kim Jong-Nam for the past 5 years.

North Korea denies any involvement in Kim Jong-Nam’s death.

Kim Jong-Nam is the eldest son of Kim Jong-Il and was once the favourite to assume the North Korean leadership. However, he reportedly fell out of favour with his father when he failed in an attempt to enter Japan on a fake passport in 2001. He lived in exile ever since and his been publicly critical of his family’s North Korean leadership regime. His half-brother Kim Jong-Un was declared Supreme Leader of North Korea in 2011.

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