Kim Jong-Nam: The Game Show Assassination

Written by C.W.S.

When two young women approached the half-brother of the North Korean dictator at the shopping concourse at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia, one distracted him while the other sprayed something into his face. Kim Jong-Nam felt dizzy after and went to an information desk for help. He died on the way to the hospital on February 13th.

 Kim Jong-Nam

Kim Jong-Nam

Police official Fadzil Ahmat initially told Reuters that “The deceased ... felt like someone grabbed or held his face from behind. We don’t know if there was a cloth or needles. The receptionist said someone grabbed his face, he felt dizzy.”

Reports are now coming out that the woman sprayed Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother in the face with a fast-acting toxin. So how did a 25-year-old woman find herself at the center of a high-profile assassination? Police are now stating that Siti Aisyah believed that she was taking part in a game show called “Just For Laughs.

The photo of the other yet unnamed woman that is being shown in news reports was captured on CCTV during the assassination. It is pixilated and bright, showing the woman in a white sweater with the letters LOL printed in large black letters. Apparently, the women had been taking part in a game where they convinced men to close their eyes and then sprayed them with water.

"Such an action was done three or four times and they were given a few dollars for it, and with the last target, Kim Jong-Nam, allegedly there were dangerous materials in the sprayer," Indonesia's national police chief, Tito Karnavian said. "She was not aware that it was an assassination attempt by alleged foreign agents."

 Kim Jong-Il and Kim Jong-Un

Kim Jong-Il and Kim Jong-Un

Relatives of Aisyah also came out to say that she believed that she was traveling to China to appear in a comedy film. Aisyah’s mother, Benah, stated that it was “impossible” that her daughter was an assassin: “My daughter is not like that, she is just a country girl.”

The assassination has launched a great deal of speculation into who, exactly, is responsible. Many believe that the North Korean government organized the hit, due to the reigning family’s complicated relationship to Jong-Nam. Jong-Nam was a public critic of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as it is known internally.

Although Jong-Nam was the eldest son of previous dictator Kim Jong-Il, it was clear early on to the family that Jong-Nam lacked the particular leadership skills they felt were necessary. Born in 1971 to Jong-Il and actress Song Hye-rim, it is speculated that the dictator at the time and Jong-Il’s father, Kim Il-sung, disapproved of his son’s relationship with Song, who was still married and had children when they began their relationship. Because of this, Jong-Nam was kept out of school and essentially hidden away. Nonetheless, his father doted on Jong-Nam, even sleeping in a bed with him. In 1979, Jong-Nam left North Korea to study outside the country, and apparently his father was so upset that he got drunk and wept.

In 2001, Jong-Nam was caught using a fake passport to enter Japan, claiming he wanted to visit Disneyland in Tokyo. It is thought that this embarrassed Jong-Il, costing Jong-Nam succession to his father’s position. Jong-Il died in 2011, allowing Jong-Nam’s younger brother access to his position as Dear Leader. Then, in 2012, Jong-Nam wrote a book in which he criticized his family’s control of North Korea, and stated his belief that his younger brother lacked leadership skills, further pushing him out of favor.

Jong-Nam gained a reputation as a playboy and jet-setter, but was living with his wife and two children in Macau on the south of China at the time of his death.

The Malaysian government has not agreed to release the body or autopsy reports to North Korea until a DNA sample is provided from one of Jong-Nam’s relatives. “So far no family member or next of kin has come to identify or claim the body,” Abdul Samah Mat said. “We need a DNA sample of a family member to match the profile of the dead person. North Korea has submitted a request to claim the body but before we release the body we have to identify who the body belongs to.”

 North Korean boarder 

North Korean boarder 

Any form of media not sanctioned by the North Korean government is strictly forbidden in the state, including the internet in general. The 25 million citizens of North Korea are kept almost completely in the dark about affairs outside, and the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam is no exception. As of February 17th, the country is still unaware of the events that happened on the 13th.

Now South Korea has announced that it will try to get this information in by loudspeaker, a tactic used in the past to counter propaganda. "We are considering providing information about the killing of Kim Jong Nam into North Korea via loudspeaker broadcast," a South Korean military officer told NBC News. The loudspeakers are so powerful that they can be heard for six miles.

So far, five people have been arrested in connection with the assassination. "We believe the North Korean regime is behind this incident, considering five suspects are North Koreans," Jeong Joon-hee, spokesman at South Korea's Unification Ministry, said on Sunday. At this time, officials cannot be certain who is to blame for the attack.