By Kenichi Yoshida and Kotaro Kodama / Yomiuri Shimbun CorrespondentsKUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian police arrested on Friday a 46-year-old North Korean man on suspicion of being involved in the murder at Kuala Lumpur International Airport of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, police said Saturday.
According to police, the man, identified as Ri Jong Chol, lives in Malaysia and has identification issued by the Malaysian government.
Online editions of Malaysian media published in Chinese reported on Friday night that police arrested a man possessing a North Korean passport, who is suspected to have been involved in the case. Police suspect the man may have played the leading role in the case, the reports said.
According to the local Oriental Daily News, the arrested man first suggested the idea of an attack to Siti Aisyah — a 25-year-old woman with an Indonesian passport. She is believed to be one of those who executed the murder and was arrested on Tuesday. The man reportedly entered Malaysia and Indonesia multiple times.
Based on security camera images and other information, police believe four men were involved in the murder — besides the two women who have been arrested. They are hunting the other three men.
A Sin Chew Daily report said police put the four men on a nationwide wanted list on Friday, sending their photographs to local police. The report pointed out that the arrested man looks very similar to a person who was watching the attack on Kim Jong Nam from a nearby restaurant.