EXCLUSIVE: Woman Accused in N Korean’s Poisoning Is ‘Internet Celebrity’ With YouTube Channel

  1. Home
  2. World
By Ian Miles Cheong | 11:27 am, February 16, 2017

IPOH, MALAYSIA — A woman who was arrested for the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korea’s dictator, has identified herself as a Vietnamese “Internet celebrity”. We may have found her YouTube channel.

Jong Nam was murdered on Monday at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Authorities say he was poisoned by two women who approached him as he was about to board a flight for Macao. One assailant apparently sprayed him with an aerosol device, while the other then used a handkerchief to cover his face “for around 10 seconds,” according to deputy police-inspector general Noor Rashid Ibrahim. The toxic spray was described as “a poison more potent than cyanide.”

The first woman who was arrested, identified as Doan Thi Huong based on her Vietnamese passport, was positively identified by security footage and was alone at the time of her arrest by Malaysian authorities. In the CCTV footage released by the police, a figure believed to be Doan can be seen at the airport wearing a skirt and long-sleeved shirt with “LOL” on it.

The Malaysian Chinese newspaper Oriental Daily reports that Doan told police she was lured into spraying Kim as a “prank” urged on by four men she did not know. She says that her companion covered his face with the handkerchief, as instructed by them. The two women then fled the airport by taxi. Doan was detained when she returned to the airport on Wednesday, apparently seeking to flee. Her female companion has also since been detained.

Doan provided testimony to the police, identifying herself as a Vietnamese “Internet celebrity” (per the Japanese media) . Heat Street looked into it, and discovered a YouTube channel by someone with her name who bears a strong resemblance to the woman captured on CCTV.

She isn’t quite the Internet celebrity she claims to be, but the YouTuber uploaded a dozen videos under the name “Doan Thi Thu Huong” over the last five months, most with fewer than 100 views. In the videos, the alleged assassin practices speaking English.

Speculation in the Malaysian media suggests that Doan may have provided the details necessary to identify the four men she mentioned in statements to police.

A further report by Oriental Daily states that police have identified up to six suspects involved in the murder, all of whom have been detained: Doan, another woman (believed to be her companion in the actual attack) and four men. Legally, the suspects can remain in remand for up to seven days unless charged with a crime.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.