Malaysia pledges to grant Vietnam consular access to Kim Jong Nam murder suspect

By Viet Anh   February 23, 2017 | 10:35 am GMT+7
Malaysian police described the suspect carrying a Vietnamese passport named Doan Thi Huong, as an ‘entertainment outlet employee.’

Malaysian diplomats have pledged to grant Vietnam access to a woman detained in Kuala Lumpur following the alleged assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean leader's half-brother.

On Monday, Vietnam’s foreign ministry confirmed that Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman has pledged to work with law enforcement officials to allow Vietnamese representatives to meet with Doan Thi Huong, 28, a suspect who entered the country on a Vietnamese passport.

Minister Aman offered his pledge at the behest of his Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in the Philippines. Minh said citizens arrested overseas enjoy the basic right to meet with representatives of their government.

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Doan Thi Huong in an undated handout released by the Royal Malaysia Police to Reuters.

Malaysian police suspect that Huong and an Indonesian woman wiped a toxic liquid onto Kim Jong Nam’s face at Kuala Lumpur’s budget air terminal on February 13. The estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un died soon afterwards.

The police described Huong as an “entertainment outlet employee,” without offering further details about her employment. More recently, police alleged Huong and her accomplice knew the liquid they had applied to Nam's face to be toxic and were instructed to wash their hands after doing so.

A family in Nam Dinh Province (southeast of Hanoi), told Reuters they'd barely seen the woman since she she left home a decade ago at the age of 18. Family members said they only found out she was abroad from the media. They had thought she was working in Hanoi.

More recently, reporters from Kyodo News interviewed a man named Doan Van Thanh, 64, in the village of Nghia Hung, who claimed to be the suspect's father. Thanh, who fought for North Vietnam during the Vietnam War and has worked as a farmer ever since, said his daughter came home every two or three months.

She has led a “withdrawn life,” he told Reuters.

"My daughter is meek," he told Kyodo News. "And I can't believe she would ever kill anybody."

Reuters reported that multiple Facebook accounts confirmed Thanh to be Huong's father; the pages included images of her pouting, blowing kisses at the camera and attending parties.

Four days before the murder, she posted a picture of herself wearing a shirt with the acronym "LOL," similar to the shirt worn by the fleeing suspect caught on CCTV cameras.

Related news:

Malaysia identifies N.Korean embassy official among suspects

Vietnam seeks to verify information on suspect in killing of N.Korean leader's half brother

 
 
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