A North Korean biotechnology institute is involved in last week's killing of leader Kim Jong-un's half brother Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia, a person familiar with the matter claimed Wednesday.
"We got a tip that Kim Jong-un issued an order in December 2014 to remove Kim Jong-nam," said Choi Sung-young, who represents a group of South Koreans whose families were abducted to North Korea decades ago.
Kim Jong-nam (Yonhap)
Choi said North Korea's military unit 810, which is also known as a biotechnology institute in charge of developing agricultural chemicals, was behind the killing of Kim Jong-nam.
He also claimed that the institute appears to have carried out a mock test on some 20 political offenders weighing 80-90 kilograms in preparation for killing Kim Jong-nam.
Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, died on Feb. 13 after being attacked by alleged North Korean agents at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. He had been critical of his family's dynastic control of the reclusive North.
Choi did not provide details on how he obtained the information. His claim was not independently confirmed.
It is the first time a North Korean institute has been cited for involvement in the death.
South Korea's top spy agency said last week North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau and the ministry of state security may be behind the poison attack. (Yonhap)