Kim Jong-nam Killing Organized by North Korean Ministries, South Finds
SEOUL, South Korea — Officials from North Korea’s secret police and Foreign Ministry were involved in the killing of the estranged half brother of the country’s leader, South Korean intelligence officials told lawmakers on Monday.
Ever since Kim Jong-nam, the eldest brother of Kim Jung-un, was first reported assassinated, the South Korean government has held the North responsible. On Monday, the National Intelligence Service in Seoul provided more details of what it described as state-sponsored terrorism, saying that four of the eight North Koreans identified as suspects by the Malaysian authorities were agents from North Korea’s Ministry of State Security, the country’s secret police.
Speaking on Monday in a closed-door parliamentary hearing, Lee Byung-ho, the director of the National Intelligence Service, said that two other suspects worked for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The remaining two were affiliated with Air Koryo, the North’s state-run airline company, and Singwang Economics and Trading General Corporation, Mr. Lee said, according to two lawmakers who attended the briefing. Singwang is among North Korean companies facing United Nations sanctions.
韩国国家情报院院长李炳镐（Lee Byung-ho，音）在周一的闭门会议听证会上说，另外四名嫌疑人中有两人在朝鲜外交部工作。其余两人分别隶属于朝鲜国营航空公司高丽航空(Air Koryo)和Singwang经济与贸易总公司，李炳镐说，上述信息来自两位参加了情况介绍会的立法者。 Singwang是受到联合国制裁的朝鲜公司之一。
The Malaysian authorities have said that Mr. Kim was killed by an extremely toxic nerve agent known as VX. They said that the North Koreans had hired and trained two women, one from Indonesia, the other from Vietnam, to attack Mr. Kim at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The women smeared his face with the chemical while he was waiting to check in for a flight to Macau, where he and his family had a home, they said.
The two women are now in police custody in Kuala Lumpur.
Mr. Lee, the South Korean intelligence chief, was quoted by the lawmakers as saying that the eight North Koreans, working as two four-member teams, converged in Kuala Lumpur to carry out the Feb. 13 assassination.
He said that Ri Jae-nam, a state security agent, and Ri Ji-hyon, a Foreign Ministry official, had brought Doan Thi Huong, a 28-year-old Vietnamese woman, into the assassination plot, while Siti Aisyah, a 25-year-old Indonesian woman, was hired by O Jong-gil, a state security agent, and by Hong Song-hac, a Foreign Ministry official.
李炳镐说，朝鲜国家安全人员Ri Jae-nam和外交部官员Ri Ji-hyon让28岁的越南女子段氏香（Doan Thi Huong，音）参与了暗杀阴谋，而25岁的印度尼西亚妇女西蒂·艾莎(Siti Aisyah)则是朝鲜国家安全特工O Jong-gil和外交部官员Hong Song-hac雇来的。
The four North Koreans who made up the assassination team left Malaysia the same day Mr. Kim was killed and are believed to be back in their country, Mr. Lee was quoted as saying. The Malaysian police have confirmed their departure.
Hyon Kwang-song, a senior diplomat at the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, and three other North Koreans worked as a support team, Mr. Lee told the lawmakers, keeping track of Kim Jong-nam’s whereabouts and providing logistical assistance. Mr. Hyon worked for the Ministry of State Security, he said.
Mr. Hyon and the Air Koryo employee, Kim Uk-il, remain at the embassy in Malaysia.
A third member of the support team, identified as Ri Jong-chol, has been arrested in Kuala Lumpur. The fourth, identified as Ri Ji-u, is believed to be at large in Malaysia.
支持团队的第三名成员被确认为Ri Jong-chol，他已在吉隆坡被逮捕。第四名成员的身份被确认为Ri Ji-u，人们认为他仍在马来西亚。
North Korea’s Ministry of State Security specializes in ferreting out people whose loyalty to Kim Jong-un’s totalitarian regime is in doubt. Mr. Kim is believed to have used the ministry in the arrests and executions of senior officials, including an uncle, Jang Song-thaek, who was executed on charges of corruption and sedition in 2013. The ministry also runs a network of prison camps.
During the intelligence briefing on Monday, Mr. Lee told the lawmakers that five senior officials affiliated with the State Security Ministry had been executed with antiaircraft guns. He also said that Gen. Kim Won-hong, who was removed as chief of the secret police in January, was in detention as part of a purge.
在周一的情报汇报会上，李炳镐对立法者说，隶属于国家安全部的五名高级官员已经被高射炮射死。他还说，作为一次清洗的一部分，1月份被解职的秘密警察主管金元弘将军(Gen. Kim Won-hong)已被拘留。
Mr. Lee said that General Kim and his five deputies had angered Kim Jong-un by filing false reports, but he did not elaborate. The South’s intelligence agency had said earlier that General Kim was dismissed on charges of corruption and abuse of power.
He was the latest in a series of high-ranking party and military officials that Kim Jong-un has fired, demoted or executed in efforts to consolidate his power through what South Korean officials have called a “reign of terror.”