North Korea assassination suspect believed whole thing was part of a TV prank show

The assassination of Kim Jong-un’s half brother Kim Jong-nam just keeps getting stranger, as Indonesia’s national police chief told reporters the woman currently being detained in connection with the killing believed she was taking part in a TV prank show and had no idea the spray she released in Jong-nam’s face contained deadly chemicals.

Tito Karnavian, citing information received from Malaysian authorities, told reporters that 25-year-old Siti Aisyah and another woman who is still at large had been paid to participate in pranks in which they would convince unsuspecting men to close their eyes and would then spray water in their faces. “Such an action was done three or four times and they were given a few dollars for it, and with the last target, Kim Jong-nam, allegedly there were dangerous materials in the sprayer,” Karnavian said, according to The Guardian. “She was not aware that it was an assassination attempt by alleged foreign agents.”

While Karnavian’s claims have not been independently verified, believing she was on a TV comedy show might explain the woman’s attire when she carried out the killing — a shirt emblazoned with “LOL.” Her family members were also reportedly jarred to learn of her involvement in the assassination, describing Karnavian as a “very kind, polite and respectful country girl” who had moved to Malaysia from Indonesia with her husband and young son to work before they eventually divorced.

“I was shocked to hear that she was arrested for murdering someone,” said Aisyah’s former father-in-law. “I don’t believe that she would commit such a crime or what the media says that she is an intelligence agent.”

The Sun reported that the struggling Aisyah was approached in a Malaysian nightclub and offered $100 to take part in a prank show.

North Korea has said it will “categorically reject” the results of a Malaysian autopsy on Jong-nam’s body, and once again demanded it be sent to his home country, from which he had been estranged for years. According to the Sun, the autopsy report, which has not been officially released, “revealed Jong-nam was either poisoned with ricin or puffer fish toxins 1,200 times more lethal than cyanide.”

“The Malaysian side forced the post mortem without our permission and witnessing, we will categorically reject the result of the post mortem conducted unilaterally excluding our attendance,” the North Korean ambassador Kang Chol said in a statement Friday.

Malaysia has said they will not release Jong-nam’s body without DNA samples of the Kim family to confirm his identity.

[The Guardian | The Sun]