The assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother in broad daylight at an international airport sounds like a scene from a spy movie, featuring a fugitive high-profile figure and undercover agents in action.
The two female assassins -- presumed to be highly trained special agents -- seem to harken back to a time when purging individuals by guns and poison was not uncommon in the political arena.
Malaysian media outlet the Star reported Wednesday that local police were analyzing CCTV footage of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
It was here that Kim Jong-nam, the 46-year-old half-brother of the North Korean leader, was killed by an unidentified toxic substance at around 9 a.m. on Monday.
The CCTV footage showed one of the two female figures who approached Kim -- a relatively young woman wearing a white long-sleeve T-shirt and a mini skirt. Her agile and sharp movements have led to speculation she and her partner were well-trained special agents dedicated to secret missions, including high-profile assassinations.
It is common for the North Korean regime to train women -- often those who look attractive and are sociable -- as special agents. Their prime role is to catch their target off guard and speedily eliminate the “enemy,” often using stealthy means such as poisoned needles or close-range shooting.
It was also based on such background that a number of female espionage agents were caught over the past decades in action in South Korea.
This time, the two agents appeared determined not to miss their target, who has long been a source of annoyance to their state leader.
Both of them reportedly turned on Kim while he was at a check-in kiosk before a flight to Macau, with one grasping him from the back and the other spraying a toxic substance onto his face.
While the two aggressors fled and disappeared from view by taxi, Kim complained of severe pain, upon which he was moved to the airport’s first aid center and then to a general hospital downtown. He died on the way.
By Bae Hyun-jung (email@example.com)