Woman arrested over Kim Jong-Un half-brother's 'assassination'

Kim Jong-Nam was reportedly murdered while waiting to catch a flight

Woman arrested over Kim Jong-Un half-brother's 'assassination'

This composite photo shows Kim Jong Nam (left) in Japan in 2001, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (right) in Pyongyang | Image: Shizuo Kambayashi, Wong Maye-E AP/Press Association Images

CCTV images show a suspected female assassin who is believed to have murdered North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's half-brother.

Kim Jong-Nam (45) was reportedly assassinated by two Pyongyang agents at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia on Monday, as he waited to catch a flight to Macau.

The women are believed to have used poisoned needles, a poisoned spray or a poison-laced cloth.

Malaysian and South Korean media broadcast footage of a woman wanted in connection with the killing.

The CCTV images from outside the capital's international airport show the suspect in a sweatshirt with 'LOL' emblazoned across the front.

The assailants are believed to have fled in a taxi after the attack.

Malaysian police revealed on Wednesday that a woman had been arrested in connection with the murder.

They said she was alone at the time and holding a Vietnamese travel document in which she was identified as 28-year-old Doan Thi Huong.

The suspect taken into custody was "positively identified from the CCTV footage at the airport", a statement said.

"Police are looking for a few others, all foreigners," it added.

Detectives are still investigating the cause of death and a post-mortem has taken place at Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, where Kim Jong-Nam's body is being held.

The Reuters news agency, citing Malaysian government officials, said North Korean diplomats had objected to the post-mortem taking place.

There are also reports that North Korea had demanded the immediate return of the body, but that Malaysia had not yet decided whether to hand it over.

Why Kim?

However, in Pyongyang it was business as usual as North Koreans prepared to celebrate the birthday this week of the brothers' father, former supreme leader Kim Jong-Il.

There has been broad speculation about why Kim Jong-Nam may have been a target.

He was a known advocate of reform in North Korea and was vocal about his opposition to the nation's dynastic succession policy, but never defected or led a campaign against his younger sibling.

South Korean intelligence chiefs have suggested his apparent assassination was ordered by Kim Jong-Un some time ago because he perceived his stepbrother to be a threat to his regime.

The North Korean leader has overseen a purge of various "traitors" since he came to power, including his uncle General Jang Song-Thaek, who was executed by machine gun in December 2013.

South Korea's Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, now also the country's acting president, said if it was confirmed the North Korean leadership was behind the murder, "that would clearly depict the brutality and inhumanity of the Kim Jong-Un regime".

Kim Jong-Nam is the son of Song Hye-Rim, a South Korean-born actress who is believed to have been a mistress of Kim Jong-Il.

Understood to be Kim Jong-Il's heir apparent as his eldest son, he was thought to have been overlooked for the succession after a botched attempt to enter Japan in May 2001 on a forged passport.

He claimed he wanted to visit Disney's Tokyo resort, but the incident embarrassed his father, and the then North Korean leader was succeeded by Kim Jong-Un in December 2011.

Following the Japan scandal, Kim Jong-Nam and his family virtually lived in exile in Macau, Singapore and China.