Documentary ‘Assassins’ tells the strange story of the murder of Kim Jong-un’s half-brother

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are escorted as they revisit KLIA2 in Sepang October 24, 2017. — Reuters pic
Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are escorted as they revisit KLIA2 in Sepang October 24, 2017. — Reuters pic

Follow us on Instagram and subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

LOS ANGELES, Jan 29 — Nearly four years after the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, a new documentary seeks to shed light on the brazen airport murder and the involvement of the two young women accused of carrying it out.

Kim Jong-nam’s killing at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February 2017 was caught on grainy CCTV footage broadcast worldwide, yet many details still remain a mystery.

US director Ryan White spent 2.5 years investigating the case for Assassins, which will be released in cinemas and digitally on demand today.

The film focuses on the two women — Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong — who were charged with poisoning Kim by smearing his face with the banned chemical weapon VX and had at one point faced a mandatory death penalty in Malaysia.

Defense lawyers maintained they were pawns in an assassination orchestrated by North Korean agents. The women said they thought they were part of a reality prank show and did not know they were poisoning Kim.

Siti was freed in March 2019 after a Malaysian court dropped charges against her. Prosecutors dropped a murder charge against Huong, who pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of causing harm using dangerous means, and she went free the following May.

South Korean and US officials have said the North Korean regime had ordered the assassination of Kim, who had criticised his family’s dynastic rule. Pyongyang has denied the allegation.

For Assassins, White’s extensive research included travel to Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. But he said hearing from the women themselves was the most crucial factor in finding the reality behind the headlines.

Doan and Aisyah were shown the documentary earlier this week, and while the film got their blessing, Doan expressed regret over some scenes, White said.

“Her first reaction... was, ‘I wish I hadn’t smiled so much,’“ he said, referring to scenes showing the return to Vietnam of Doan, who White said became a target for vitriol on social media and has “retreated into her shell a lot more.”

“They’re both lovely and thankfully survived this experience, but I think their lives will never be the same, unfortunately,” he said. — Reuters

You May Also Like

Related Articles