Lawmaker Claims Kim Jong-nam's Killers were Suicidal Assassins

Lawmaker Claims Kim Jong-nam's Killers were Suicidal Assassins

SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- Rep. Ha Tae-keung of the Bareun Party said Tuesday two of the four North Korean suspects linked to the alleged murder of Kim Jong-un's half brother were suicidal assassins.

   Citing a source who earlier served in the General Reconnaissance Bureau, Pyongyang's top spy agency, the lawmaker said two of the four suspects who fled Malaysia after the incident were killers who would have sacrificed themselves if the need arose for the mission.

   Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, was killed in Malaysia after being attacked by two Asian women.

   Ha said if the two women had failed to kill the half brother, the two North Koreans would have taken it upon themselves to have murdered Kim. In such an event, they would have attempted suicide to prevent being caught by police, he added.

   "Surprisingly, the assassination order on Kim Jong-nam was carried out in an extremely elaborate manner," Ha said.

   The lawmaker said while North Korea sought to carry out the assassination by sending spies or disguising them as defectors when the target was in South Korea, its methods have changed over the years, and they seem to have sought to place murder contracts starting in 2014.

   Ha said the change in strategy is presumed to have been made due to ongoing investigations carried out by South Korea's National Intelligence Service.

   The lawmaker said as the hired killers are usually from China or Southeast Asia, it is important for South Korea to join forces with neighboring countries to tackle Pyongyang's assassination attempts.'
 

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