Kim Jong Nam hit

Suspect 'filmed playing snooker in N. Korean Embassy'

KUALA LUMPUR • A man wanted by Malaysian police to facilitate investigations into last month's murder of Mr Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has reportedly been filmed playing snooker at the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

On Monday, All-Nippon News Network, operated by Asahi TV, aired video footage supposedly showing a man resembling Kim Uk Il holding a snooker cue on the second floor of the embassy building in the leafy neighbourhood of Damansara Heights.

A warrant of arrest was issued for Kim Uk Il, 37, an employee of North Korean airline Air Koryo, earlier this month.

Police are seeking two other suspects in Malaysia - the embassy's second secretary Kwang Hyon Song, 44, believed to be hiding in the embassy building, as well as Ri Ji U, 30, also known as James.

Four more North Korean suspects fled Malaysia on Feb 13, the day of the murder, and are believed to be in Pyongyang.

Interpol has issued a red notice for their arrest, upon Malaysia's request.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported yesterday that one of the four men, Ri Ji Hyon, 33, is the son of former North Korean ambassador to Hanoi Ri Hong, and had lived in Vietnam for about 10 years.

Quoting unnamed sources, it reported that Ri Ji Hyon used his fluent Vietnamese to lure Doan Thi Huong, one of the two women charged with the murder, into the plot.

Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah allegedly smeared the lethal VX nerve agent on Mr Kim Jong Nam's face while he was waiting for his flight to Macau at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. They claim they thought they were taking part in a prank on a reality show.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2017, with the headline 'Suspect 'filmed playing snooker in N. Korean Embassy''. Print Edition | Subscribe