Suspect in Kim Jong-nam killing claims prank

Siti Aisyah said she was paid to smear Kim Jong-nam's face with "baby oil" as part of a reality show joke.

An Indonesia woman arrested for the murder of the half-brother of North Korea’s leader has said she was given 400 Malaysian ringgits ($90) to carry out a prank.

Indonesian embassy officials met Siti Aisyah, 25, on Saturday in the Malaysian capital.

She said she was given the cash to smear Kim Jong-nam’s face with “baby oil” as part of a reality show joke.

Tests show Mr Kim was killed with the highly toxic nerve agent VX. It is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

Mr Kim died last week after two women accosted him briefly in a check-in hall at a Kuala Lumpur airport.

Suspicion
There is widespread suspicion that North Korea was behind the attack, which it strongly denies.

A Vietnamese woman and a North Korean man have also been arrested in connection with the killing. At least seven other suspects are wanted by police.

After a 30-minute meeting with Siti Aisyah on Saturday, Indonesian Deputy Ambassador Andreano Erwin said: “She only said in general that somebody asked her to do this activity. She also said she met with some people who looked Japanese or Korean.”

“According to her, that person gave her 400 ringgits to do this activity. She only said she was given a kind of oil, like baby oil.”

The officials said they did not see any physical signs that the suspect had been affected by the chemical.

Vietnamese officials also met their arrested national, Doan Thi Huong, but made no comment.

Malaysia’s police chief, Khalid Abu Bakar said on Friday that the presence of the nerve agent had been detected in swabs taken from Mr Kim’s eyes and face.

Mr Kim had sought medical help at the airport, saying someone had splashed or sprayed him with liquid. He then had a seizure and died on the way to hospital.

BBC/Sammie