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The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam

When we think about assassinations, famous characters come to mind like JFK or Martin Luther King. Their assassinations were well planned, and to this day, people are unsure of who really killed them.

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But the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam wasn't done by a lone shooter or opposition; it was done by his own blood. Don't believe us? You're about to find out the crazy story behind the mysterious assassination of Kim Jong-Nam.

Assassinations are still a thing

We tend to assume that assassinations were a thing back in the day or in action movies, but they're still very relevant today. Many people out there are looking for nothing more than to literally eliminate their enemies from this Earth.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
VALLETTA, MALTA - OCTOBER 16: A picture of assassinated journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia lies at the protest memorial dedicated to the journalist on October 16, 2020 in Valletta, Malta. The Maltese investigative journalist was killed in October 2017 when a car bomb exploded. The former British colony has yet to convict anyone for the murder, whilst the European Parliament unveils a new prize in the slain journalist's honor. Joanna Demarco/Getty Images

It's pretty intense, but hey, we didn't make the rules. Assassinations are happening all over the world, whether it's the assassination of mafia leaders, criminals, politicians, or celebrities. I'm sure you can already think of a few names.

It's not that hard to assassinate a person

I don't want to be the one to say it, but by the looks of it, it's not too hard to assassinate a person. Even some American politicians were assassinated, and they have the best security team in the world surrounding them.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy smile at the crowds lining their motorcade route in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. Minutes later, the President was assassinated as his car passed through Dealey Plaza. Bettman/Contributor

So, in other words, if someone wants to get rid of another person, they just need to use a little elbow grease to get the job done. However, this particular assassination was well planned out and gave a message to the world that symbolized more than just killing another person.

Kim Jong who?

If you need to know the basics of who Kim Jong-Nam was, because odds are, you don't know who he is. However, he comes from a very controversial and powerful family. Kim Jong-Nam was the son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il.

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Nam was supposed to be the original heir of North Korea, but after attending boarding school in Switzerland, he started to enjoy the luxurious life and had no interest in taking power in North Korea. This left his half-brother, Kim Jong-Un, to take over into his father's reign.

Not so brotherly love

For most of us, we spend our lives growing up with our siblings by our side. But for Kim Jong-Un and Kim Jong-Nam, they grew up never meeting each other. Did they know of one another? Yes. But they practice an ancient belief of raising potential successors separately.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
(FILE PHOTO) North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, (1941/1942 - 2011, bottom left), poses with his first-born son Kim Jong Nam, (1971 - 2017, bottom right) in this 1981 family photo in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kim Jong Nam was detained in Japan on May 1, 2001 at the new Tokyo International Airport in Narita for attempting to enter Japan under a false passport. Choongang Monthly Magazine/Newsmakers

So after their father died, they met for the first time in their lives. Let's just say the two didn't become best friends. Instead, the divide between brothers was even more clear.

Words hurt

No one likes being talked poorly of. We're humans; we have egos and want nothing more than to make sure they stay intact. In a book titled My Father, Kim Jong Il, and Me, author Yoji Gomi interviews Kim Jong-Nam. And he didn't have the most supportive words for his brother.

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He said that Kim Jong-Un's leadership would fail due to his brother's lack of experience and age. He also said, "Without reforms, North Korea will collapse, and when such changes take place, the regime will collapse." It was after that interview that Kim Jong-Nam would live his life with a target on his back.

Something out of a movie

We watch assassinations happen on tv all the time. The only difference is that those scenes aren't real, and they're played by actors. But what's going to happen next is really something out of a movie.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - FEBRUARY 26: Members of the Atomic Energy Licensing Board put up their Hazmat suit outside the KLIA2 terminal on February 26, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia's Police Forensic Team with the help of Fire Department and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board swept the terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 for toxic chemicals after they announced on Friday, Kim Jong Nam was poisoned by VX nerve agent, which is listed as the most potent form of nerve agents known in chemical warfare. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's older half-brother Kim Jong Nam died in Malaysia last week after apparently being poisoned at a Kuala Lumpur airport. Malaysia's police said on Wednesday they are seeking a senior official at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur in connection with the killing of Kim Jong-Nam. Mr Kim, the eldest son of the former North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, was once considered the heir to power in North Korea but fell out of favor in 2001 after he was seized by Japanese authorities at Narita Airport for trying to enter the country on a forged Dominican Republic passport. Rahman Roslan/Getty Images

The difference is that this assassination was not performed by actors, but rather planned out by North Korean secret agents, under the directions of none other than Kim Jong-Un. Makes you wonder how much your siblings actually love you, right?

The Mission: Assassinate Kim Jong-Nam

The mission Supreme leader Kim Jong-Un set out was easy; the goal was to assassinate his half-brother. The order was out to have his brother killed, and in 2012, a failed assassination attempt had Jong-Nam writing to his brother, begging him to spare his life.

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But his brother, Kim Jong-Un, wasn't so forgiving and ignored his cries for help. It was only a matter of time until Kim Jong-Un's plan to kill his brother would work, and in 2017, it looked like it finally pulled through as planned.

A typical day at the airport

If airports are known for one thing, it's their hecticness. People are quickly moving from place to place, all trying to make sure they catch their flights. With people preoccupied with their own business, this would make the perfect place for an assassination, wouldn't you think?

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - FEBRUARY 26: A small group of sweeping team in their Hazmat suit is seen inside the KLIA2 terminal on February 26, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia's Police Forensic Team with the help of Fire Department and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board swept the terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 for toxic chemicals after they announced on Friday, Kim Jong Nam was poisoned by VX nerve agent, which is listed as the most potent form of nerve agents known in chemical warfare. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's older half-brother Kim Jong Nam died in Malaysia last week after apparently being poisoned at a Kuala Lumpur airport. Malaysia's police said on Wednesday they are seeking a senior official at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur in connection with the killing of Kim Jong-Nam. Mr Kim, the eldest son of the former North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, was once considered the heir to power in North Korea but fell out of favor in 2001 after he was seized by Japanese authorities at Narita Airport for trying to enter the country on a forged Dominican Republic passport. Rahman Roslan/Getty Images

Kim Jong-Nam was waiting to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Macau in February 2017. He wasn't shot by men in black or taken into a back room and beaten. Instead, he was killed in an unusual way.

It all happened in a flash

Jong-Nam walked through the airport wearing a casual pale blue suit with a backpack over his shoulder. He didn't bring any attention to himself. While Jong-Nam was lingering by the check-in, two young Asian women approached him from behind.

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One grabbed him while the other pressed a small cloth to his face. He tried to shake off the one woman for a few seconds, but the woman eventually relaxed, and they both walked away. Confused, he went to find help at the main terminal desk.

Jong-Nam started to feel off

After rushing to the terminal help desk, he explained to the staff what just happened. He complained that he was feeling groggy and having problems seeing, so they took him to a first-aid station.

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It wasn't long after he was placed on a stretcher and taken to the hospital via ambulance. However, he died en route. The women were caught on CCTV taking a taxi outside the terminal to a hotel in the city center.

Assassinated in plain sight

The next day, staff and police were able to see the extremely public assassination take place via CCTV cameras. The dead man was booked on a flight to Macau, under the name "Kim Chol," but the passport was fake.

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What people didn't know at the time was that these two women had just killed the eldest son of former North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. Once they found this information out, they quickly hunted down the two women and brought them in for questioning.

All for a prank?

It took a couple of days for Malaysian police to capture Siti Aisyah, 25, from Serang, Indonesia, and Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28. When investigated, they told the police they thought they were apart of a prank for a TV show.

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Aisyah told police two men "who looked Japanese or Korean" paid her $90 to participate. But something was a little off. Did officials really buy their prank story? Or did they know exactly what they did?

The mysterious men

What interesting about this situation are the men who convinced the two women to take part in this scene. In an interview, Aisyah said two "producers" trained her with the baby oil smearing prank, showing her exactly what to do.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - FEBRUARY 15: Police officers guard the entrance of the forensic department of Kuala Lumpur General Hospital, where the body Jong-nam is believed to be, on February 15, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's older half-brother Kim Jong Nam was killed in Malaysia on Monday, said the Malaysian police. Based on South Korea's news channels, the estranged half brother of Kim Jong-un was assassinated at the international airport in Kuala Lumpur by two women believed to be North Korean operatives, who stabbed him with poisoned needles. Kim Jong-Nam, the eldest son of the former North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, was once considered the heir to power in North Korea but fell out of favor in 2001 after he was seized by Japanese authorities at Narita Airport for trying to enter the country on a forged Dominican Republic passport. Rahman Roslan/Getty Images

They would take her through luxury malls, hotels, and airports around Malaysia and Cambodia, as she practiced smearing hot-sauce and oil on Chinese looking men. So, this assassination plan was in the works for quite some time.

Second thoughts

Smearing oil and hot-sauce on men, didn't Aisyah see anything wrong with that? Didn't it seem a little cruel? Perhaps a little too cruel for a prank? Aisyah said, "I was nervous about doing the pranks at first in case someone reacted badly or hit out, but I was very happy to have the work."

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
SHAH ALAM, MALAYSIA - APRIL 1 : Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, as she smiles escorted by police after a court session for her trial at the Shah Alam High Court for murder case of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's brother, on April 1, 2019 in Shah Alam, Malaysia. Malaysian prosecutors dropped a murder charge after she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing harm using dangerous means. Down Thi Huong from Vietnam had been accused of killing Kim Jong Nam by smearing a VX nerve agent on his face at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) in 2017. Mohd Samsul Mohd Said/Getty Images

She did claim to have second thoughts about doing it. "I questioned why anyone would want to watch this sort of thing, but they told me Japanese audiences loved it."

What was on the cloth?

After examining the body, police found traces of VX on his face. VX is an organophosphate compound that hits the nervous system, over-stimulating muscles and glands until they exhaust themselves and stop working. People who are exposed to high doses of VX experience seizures, respiratory failure, and heart failure.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO - APRIL 18: An instructor at the Fort Leonard Wood Chemical School, who is designated as an agent handler, carries the VX nerve agent to contaminate a jeep in one of the eight chambers used for training chemical defense April 18, 2003 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Soldiers attending the Fort Leonard Wood Chemical School can use the mask of their armed force or nation while training in various types of chemical detection and survival through a variety of courses which include practicing in the Hot Zone were actual toxic agents such as the GB (Sarin) and VX nerve gases are used. U.S. military personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force, as well as some civilians and foreign soldiers, can attend the school. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

When the woman smothered Jong-Nam's face with the cloth, it was a concentrated dose of VX, which ultimately led to his death. But is VX easy to get?

VX is banned

There are a couple of reasons why the finger of blame is being pointed to North Korea. Aside from the fact that Kim Jong-Un has been trying to assassinate his brother for years, the origins of VX raises further suspicions.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - FEBRUARY 26: Members of the Atomic Energy Licensing Board put up their Hazmat suit outside the KLIA2 terminal on February 26, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia's Police Forensic Team with the help of Fire Department and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board swept the terminal at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 for toxic chemicals after they announced on Friday, Kim Jong Nam was poisoned by VX nerve agent, which is listed as the most potent form of nerve agents known in chemical warfare. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's older half-brother Kim Jong Nam died in Malaysia last week after apparently being poisoned at a Kuala Lumpur airport. Malaysia's police said on Wednesday they are seeking a senior official at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur in connection with the killing of Kim Jong-Nam. Mr Kim, the eldest son of the former North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, was once considered the heir to power in North Korea but fell out of favor in 2001 after he was seized by Japanese authorities at Narita Airport for trying to enter the country on a forged Dominican Republic passport. Rahman Roslan/Getty Images

A global treaty was signed by over 160 countries in 1997 to prohibit the production, stockpiling, and use of VX. However, one particular country did not sign the treaty, and it was North Korea. Hmm, well, that's not a good look for Kim Jong-Un.

Something smells fishy

After hearing the two women's excuses, it's hard to believe they didn't know what they were doing. And you're not the only one who's suspicious of their story. Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar highlighted a serious flaw in their story.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
SHAH ALAM, MALAYSIA - APRIL 1 : Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, as she smiles escorted by police after a court session for her trial at the Shah Alam High Court for the murder case of Kim Jong Nam, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's brother, on April 1, 2019 in Shah Alam, Malaysia. Malaysian prosecutors dropped a murder charge after she pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing harm using dangerous means. Down Thi Huong from Vietnam had been accused of killing Kim Jong Nam by smearing VX nerve agent on his face at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) in 2017. Mohd Samsul Mohd Said/Getty Images

After the attack, Huong rushed to the bathroom to wash her hands. But why would you do that if you don't know what's on the cloth? "She was very aware that [the cloth] was toxic and that she needed to wash her hands," he told reporters.

Playing the role?

While on the one hand, it sounds like they knew what they were doing; on the other hand, they also seemed to lack any knowledge of what was going on. After being arrested, Aisyah appeared to be convinced that her arrest was part of the prank as well.

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Andreano Erwin, Indonesian ambassador in Malaysia, told GQ, "The first time we visited her, she kept asking when she could leave the jail. The second, she complained that she still hadn't been paid for the last prank. The third time, she accused us of being part of the prank. The fourth time, we showed her a newspaper proving Kim Jong Nam had died...she started to cry."

Charged with murder

Whether the women knew what they did or not, the police weren't going to let their stories slide. So, they arrested and charged the two women with the murder of Kim Jong-Nam. However, in Malaysia, the women weren't facing jail time; instead, they were facing death by hanging if found guilty of murder.

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Though something strange happened. The trial came to a sudden end without explanation, with one of the women being released immediately. The case remains a mystery and may never be truly resolved. But do we know who the men were?

Who were the mysterious men?

After Aisyah and Huong were arrested, it was discovered that the men who were grooming the two women were North Korean agents. Upon further investigation, Malaysia managed to single out four North Korean suspects who fled the country the day of the assassination - their whereabouts remain unknown.

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You have to admit, this is quite an elaborate plot by Kim Jong-Un. Why try to kill your brother when he's not interested in being the leader? Guess having a capitalist in the family wasn't a good look.

Did Jong-Nam know he was in danger?

The day he died, Jong-Nam was carrying a dozen vials of atropine, an antidote for poisons like VX. The vials were in his is bag at the time. Six months before he was assassinated, he told a friend he knew his life was in danger.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
A man believed to be North Korean heir-apparent Kim Jong Nam is escorted by police as he boards a plane upon his deportation from Japan at Tokyo's Narita International Airport. Believed to be the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, the man entered Japan with a forged passport on May 1, 2001 and is to be deported to China. Yamaguchi Haruyoshi/Corbis via Getty Images

If you know your life is in danger, carrying atropine is exactly what you would do. However, why didn't he use atropine after being smeared with VX? It looks like we'll never know the answer.

But that's not the end of this story

It looks like Kim Jong-Un is a man who is all about the details. Why would he kill only his brother when he could get rid of Jong-Nam's entire family? After the death of Kim Jong-Nam, it appeared that Jong-Un has a new target, and this time, it was Jong-Nam's son.

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His son, Kim Han-Sol connected with Free Joseon, an underground movement focused on toppling North Korea's regime, and asked for their help after noticing the police who guarded his house had disappeared.

Now, he's missing

After Free Joseon told him to flee his home from Macau as soon as possible, he met with the group in Tapei, Taiwan, two days after his dad was killed. It was then claimed he boarded a plane to seek asylum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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However, he never arrived at his destination. Apparently, two CIA agents intercepted him at Tapei and took him into protective custody. His whereabouts remain unknown, nor has the CIA confirmed this.

North Korea wipes its hands clean

So what happened after? Was North Korea punished for this public assassination in an international airport? No. Leaders around the world decided to let this situation slide as they have bigger issues with North Korea, including their nuclear weapons.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
LANG SON, VIETNAM - FEBRUARY 26: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission with alternate crop.) Kim Jong-un waves from his car after arriving by train at Dong Dang railway station near the border with China on February 26, 2019 in Lang Son, Vietnam. North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Vietnam for the first time on Tuesday as preparations continue in Hanoi for the summit with U.S President Donald Trump in Hanoi later this week. Reports have indicated that both leaders could agree on a joint statement declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War while denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and ending international sanctions against Pyongyang is expected to be discussed during the summit. Linh Pham/Getty Images

If anything, this just showed to the world that they're not joking around; if they want to do something, they'll do it. For now, North Korea wiped its hands clean on the heinous crime committed. Who knows when justice will come.

A strong message to the world

The entire story around this assassination is more than just someone being killed. North Korean agents were able to orchestrate a public killing in the middle of an international airport without anyone seeing it. If anything, North Korea wanted to send a strong message to the world of what they're capable of achieving.

The Mysterious Assassination Of Kim Jong-Nam
HANOI, VIETNAM - FEBRUARY 28: In this handout photo provided by Vietnam News Agency, U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) during their second summit meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel on February 28, 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam. U.S President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un abruptly cut short their two-day summit in Vietnam as talks broke down and both leaders failed to reach an agreement on nuclear disarmament. Trump said in a press conference on Thursday that the United States was unwilling to lift all sanctions and no plans had been made for a third summit. Vietnam News Agency/Handout/Getty Images

While much of the world underestimated this country, they showed just how clever they could be through this assassination. It looks like North Korea isn't letting go of their role as a villain any time soon.