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Police chief: Woman tricked into attack on North Korean leader's half brother

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Photographs by AP file photo

This May 4, 2001, file photo shows Kim Jong Nam, exiled half brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, escorted by Japanese police officers at the airport in Narita, Japan.

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The Indonesian woman arrested for suspected involvement in the killing of the North Korean leader's half brother in Malaysia was duped into thinking she was part of a comedy show prank, Indonesia's national police chief said Friday, citing information received from Malaysian authorities.

Tito Karnavian told reporters in Indonesia's Aceh province that Siti Aisyah, 25, was paid to be involved in "Just For Laughs" style pranks, a reference to a popular hidden camera show.

He said she and another woman performed stunts which involved convincing men to close their eyes and then spraying them with water.

"Such an action was done three or four times and they were given a few dollars for it, and with the last target, Kim Jong Nam, allegedly there were dangerous materials in the sprayer," Karnavian said.

"She was not aware that it was an assassination attempt by alleged foreign agents," he said.

Karnavian's comments come after a male relative of Aisyah said in an Indonesian television interview that she had been hired to perform in a short comedy movie and traveled to China as part of this work. Indonesian Immigration has said Aisyah traveled to Malaysia and other countries, which it did not specify.

South Korea has been quick to accuse its enemies in North Korea of dispatching a hit squad to kill Kim Jong Nam at the airport in Kuala Lumpur, saying two female assassins poisoned him and then fled in a taxi.

Although Kim Jong Nam is believed to have two sons and a daughter with two women living in Beijing and Macau, police in Malaysia say none has come forward to claim the body or provide DNA samples.

North Korean diplomats in Malaysia have requested custody of Kim Jong Nam's body, arguing that he had a North Korean passport. The officials objected to an autopsy, but Malaysian authorities went ahead with the procedure anyway because they did not receive a formal complaint.

Read Saturday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.



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