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South Korea accuses North Korea of Kim Jong Nam assassination

By Allen Cone
A South Korean watches TV showing breaking news about the alleged assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother at a restaurant in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do, South Korea, on Wednesday. South Korea's government alleged the North Korean regime is involved in the poisoning death of Kim Jong Nam. Photo by Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA
A South Korean watches TV showing breaking news about the alleged assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother at a restaurant in Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do, South Korea, on Wednesday. South Korea's government alleged the North Korean regime is involved in the poisoning death of Kim Jong Nam. Photo by Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- South Korea's government alleged the North Korean regime is involved in the poisoning death of Kim Jong Un's estranged half-brother, Kim Jong Nam.

The incident occurred Monday at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. Police believe a woman with a Vietnamese passport and an Indonesian woman forced poison into Kim's face as he waited to board a flight to Macau.

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"We believe the North Korean regime is behind this incident considering five suspects are North Koreans," Seoul's unification ministry spokesman said in a statement Sunday.

The two women, a taxi driver and a separate suspect are in Malaysian police custody. Malaysian investigators say an additional four men -- all North Koreans -- are suspects. Investigators say they flew out of Malaysia on the day of the poisoning.

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The Indonesian woman, identified as Siti Aisyah, reportedly told Malaysian police she was paid to perform what she thought was a prank. The Vietnamese woman's passport was in the name of Doan Thi Huongn

Malaysian authorities conducted an autopsy Wednesday and said it could take two weeks to receive the toxicology report.

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North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia, Kang Chol, in a statement to reporters outside the hospital morgue Friday, said his country would "categorically reject" results of the autopsy. He said North Korean officials were excluded and alleged the Malaysians were working with "hostile forces" on the case.

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Kim Jong Nam was the first-born son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who died in 2011. In the early 2000s, he went into exile, mostly in Macau, mainland China and Singapore. He had criticized his younger half brother after he came into power.

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