Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Parents of the Vietnamese defendant detained in Malaysia for the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong Un, are calling on the North Korean leader to "save their daughter," according to a Japanese press report.
The father of Doan Thi Huong, who is being held responsible for smearing a toxic VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face at an airport in Kuala Lumpur, said he is seeking Kim Jong Un's help with his daughter's case, the Asahi Shimbun reported Tuesday.
"I seek the rescue of my daughter, by whatever means necessary," said Doan Thi Huong's father Doan Van Thanh.
Doan Van Thanh said his daughter called him from Malaysian prison during the Lunar New Year holiday.
"My daughter asked, 'Pray for me,'" during the call, Doan said.
Doan, who is in his 60s, said he and his family know nothing about Kim Jong Un. He said he hoped the situation will improve after the second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korea leader.
The summit is to take place next week in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital.
Doan Thi Huong and a second defendant, the Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, are accused of attacking Kim Jong Nam on Feb. 13, 2017. The defendants have said they were led to believe they were taking part in a prank for a reality television show.
A Malaysian high court judge has said the assassination was a "well-planned conspiracy."
The assassination caused uproar in Vietnam, and angered the Vietnamese government. Hanoi may have even considered severing diplomatic ties with Pyongyang in the aftermath of the murder, according to South Korean press reports.
Ties between the two countries are improving following the decision to hold the summit in Vietnam.
South Korean television network SBS reported Tuesday Kim Hyok Chol, a North Korean negotiator, arrived in Beijing.
Kim Hyok Chol previously accompanied top official Kim Yong Chol to the White House, and was en route to Hanoi for negotiations with the United States, according to the report.