Kim Jong Nam's murder and the trial of alleged killers: All you need to know

The trial of the two women charged with murdering Mr Kim Jong Nam will resume on Monday (Oct 2).
The trial of the two women charged with murdering Mr Kim Jong Nam will resume on Monday (Oct 2).PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

The two women charged with murdering Mr Kim Jong Nam, estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, have pleaded not guilty at the start of the trial on Monday (Oct 2).

Siti Aisyah, 25, of Indonesia, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, from Vietnam, were charged with murdering Mr Kim, 45, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) departure hall on Feb 13 this year.

Here is all you need to know about the saga thus far.

1. Things to know about the once heir apparent

Mr Kim had said that he had "no interest" in succeeding his father, and was a supporter of reform in North Korea.

He lived a relatively low-profile life mainly in Macau, and might have also lived in Singapore and Malaysia.

The grooming of Mr Kim to succeed his father Kim Jong Il came to an end in 2001, when he was caught at an airport in Japan travelling on a forged Dominican Republic passport. He said he had wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland.


2. Other high-profile poison killings

Mr Kim is not the only victim of politically-motivated "death by poison" killings.

Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov, who lived in exile in London since the 1960s, was believed to have been killed on the orders of the Bulgarian secret service in September 1978.

Former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in 2006 after allegedly drinking tea laced with the radioactive isotope polonium-210, in a posh hotel restaurant in London, where he had also been living in exile.


3. Some unanswered questions about the assassination

Questions remain about the saga, such as why Mr Kim was targeted, and why the murder took place in Malaysia.

There is also doubt about the murder weapon, and looming uncertainty as to what will happen to Mr Kim's family.


4. VX nerve gas, the chemical weapon that took his life

VX nerve agent is listed as a chemical weapon under Schedule 1 of the Chemical Weapons Convention Act 2005 and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) 1997.

Developed in the United Kingdom in the early 1950s, VX is also known by its chemical name S-2 Diisoprophylaminoethyl methylphosphonothiolate.

It is odourless and tasteless, so you might not even know you had been exposed to it.


5. Timeline of events from when he died

The saga has been a long-drawn affair, starting when Mr Kim was attacked at KLIA2 at around 9am on Feb 13.

Leaked CCTV footage showed him walking to a clinic in the airport on his own accord. But he died en route to hospital.

On March 1, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah were charged with murder.

North Korean suspect Ri Jong Chol was deported on March 3 after his two-week remand ended.