SEOUL, March 29 (UPI) -- Vietnam is stepping up efforts to help release Doan Thi Huong, one of two women who were taken into Malaysian custody following the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong Un.
The Vietnamese foreign ministry's latest effort to guarantee an equitable trial for 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, comes more than two weeks after a second defendant, the Indonesian national Siti Aisyah, was released after prosecutors withdrew a murder charge.
Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said Thursday Vietnam will "continue taking the necessary measures at the highest level to ensure a fair trial and freedom for Doan Thi Huong," VN Express reported.
Hang said Vietnamese officials are in regular contact with Malaysian authorities.
The Vietnamese spokeswoman said Vietnamese diplomats in Malaysia met with Huong three times to provide her with "reassurance." The officials will meet again with Huong before April 1, when the defendant is to again appear in court.
Hoang has said she was led to believe she was taking part in a prank for a reality television show. Behind the scenes, North Korean agents may have orchestrated the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, who had been living in exile in Macau with his family.
Hoang has not been in good condition after the release of Siti Aisyah, according to reports.
Huong's fate hangs in the balance, as North Korea could be reneging on some of its disarmament efforts.
South Korea's spy agency chief said Friday "restoration" work has resumed at the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri, Yonhap reported.
Rebuilding that began in February is mostly complete, Seoul's intelligence chief said.
The National Intelligence Service also said North Korea's 5-megawatt reactor in Yongbyon has remained shuttered since late 2018, according to the report.