Four North Korean men have been named in court as potential suspects in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother Kim Jong Un, who was killed at an airport in the Malaysian capital in February.
Investigators ruled that Kim was exposed to the toxic nerve agent VX, which the U.N. classifies as a weapon of mass destruction, when strangers approached him in a busy terminal and touched his face. U.S. and South Korean officials believe he was assassinated.
Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, are standing trial for his murder and face a possible death penalty if convicted. Both women pleaded not guilty, saying they were duped into participating in what they believed was a television prank. The defendants claim they were offered approximately $100 to wipe what they thought was either water or baby oil on the face of an unsuspecting passerby.
Malaysian law enforcement has now named four suspected North Korean accomplices, who left Malaysia shortly after the assassination, as Hong Song Hac, 34, Ri Ji Hyon, 33, Ri Jae Nam, 57, and O Jong Gil. The men were captured on CCTV cameras in the airport on the day of the murder, and were observed changing their clothes and meeting a North Korean Embassy official before leaving the country, the BBC reports.
Three other North Korean men had given statements to Malaysian authorities before being allowed to return to Pyongyang as part of a diplomatic trade for nine Malaysian nationals unable to leave, according to Reuters. It is unclear whether any of those who provided statements are among the four men identified Monday.