KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — An Indonesian woman arrested in the killing of the half-brother of North Korea’s leader said Saturday she was paid just $90 to smear what she thought was a harmless liquid on the face of an unsuspecting man.
Siti Aisyah, 25, told Indonesian Embassy officials that she was paid by foreign men for what she thought was a prank for a television show and did not know that anyone would be harmed.
“She only said in general that someone asked her to carry out this activity,” said Andreano Erwin, Indonesia’s deputy ambassador to Malaysia, after meeting with Siti for about 30 minutes.
“She said that she met with people who looked Japanese or Korean.”
Kim Jong Nam, 46, the estranged half -brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, died not long after two women smeared liquid on his face on Feb. 13 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport as he prepared to check in for a flight.
Malaysian police arrested Siti and another woman, Doan Thi Houng, of Vietnam, within days.
Malaysian police said Friday that Kim Jong Nam was poisoned by VX nerve agent, a chemical banned by international convention that North Korea is known to have.
Siti described the substance she used in the attack as similar to baby oil.
Malaysia has named seven North Korean men that it says are connected to the killing, including a diplomat assigned to the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
The South Korean government has accused North Korea of ordering Kim’s assassination.
The diplomat wanted for questioning was identified as Hyon Kwang Song, the second secretary of the North Korean Embassy in Malaysia.
Police said Saturday that if he did not turn himself in, they would seek a warrant for his arrest, Channel NewsAsia reported.
North Korea has blamed Malaysia and South Korea for the killing and has demanded that Kim’s body be handed over to the embassy.
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