Siti Aisyah from Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam have been on trial since October 2017, accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam by smearing the nerve agent VX on his face at Kuala Lumpur airport. The brazen assassination in February 2017 shocked the world but the women have denied murder, saying they believed they were taking part in a prank and were tricked by North Korean agents. Proceedings in the trial of the women, in their 20s, have moved slowly due to the large number of witnesses and the fact that hearings are held infrequently. The case was temporarily halted late last year after Aisyah's lawyers lodged an appeal to get access to key witness statements, which prosecutors argue should not be made public. The seven statements are from individuals including someone who drove Kim Jong Nam around in Malaysia and acquaintances of Aisyah. A court in the administrative capital Putrajaya ruled Thursday the statements should be given to the defense. "The Court of Appeal has allowed … [Read more...] about Kim Jong Nam trial delayed further over witness statement row
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Siti Aisyah from Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong from Vietnam have been on trial for over a year, accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam by smearing nerve agent VX on his face at Kuala Lumpur airport. The brazen assassination in February last year shocked the world but the women have denied murder, saying they believed they were taking part in a prank and were tricked by North Korean agents. The women, in their 20s, went on trial together in October 2017 but proceedings have moved slowly due to the large numbers of witnesses and the fact hearings are held infrequently. The defence stage of Aisyah's trial had originally been due to begin in November but was delayed to January after her main lawyer fell ill. And on Tuesday proceedings in Aisyah's case were temporarily halted when the High Court refused to grant her lawyers access to some witness statements, and they decided to appeal. Huong's trial is due to resume in March and the court will rule Friday whether it will go ahead, or be put on … [Read more...] about Trial of Indonesian accused of Kim Jong Nam murder on hold
BEIJING - Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman left Beijing for North Korea on Monday with a team of retired basketball players to mark the birthday of "nice guy" North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. This will be Rodman's fourth trip to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, where he and his team of fellow former National Basketball Association stars will hold basketball games on Kim's birthday, which is believed to fall on Wednesday, although it has never been officially confirmed. On previous visits, Rodman spent time dining as a guest of Kim, with whom he says he has a genuine friendship, though he did not meet Kim on his third trip. Rodman said he will not interfere in the country's politics. "People always say that North Korea is like a really communist country, that people are not allowed to go there," Rodman told reporters at an airport in Beijing. "I just know the fact that, you know, to me he's a nice guy, to me." "Whatever he does political-wise, that's not my job. … [Read more...] about Rodman leaves for North Korea for basketball on leader Kim’s birthday
North Korea has finally responded to persistent rumours that leader Kim Jong-Un had plastic surgery to look like his revered grandfather, issuing an angry denial criticising "sordid" media reports. Speculation that Kim's resemblance to the country's founding leader, Kim Il-Sung, is not 100 percent natural has been around for some time, though with little or no supporting evidence. The rumours have been partly fed by the undeniable fact that Kim Jong-Un has sought to evoke memories of his grandfather in numerous ways, through his dress, haircut, gestures and public appearances. And there is a clear physical resemblance. But Pyongyang's patience with reports of plastic surgery appears to have run out. "The false report... released by enemies is a hideous criminal act which the party, state, army and people can never tolerate," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary Wednesday. Insisting that the very idea of Kim, who is in his late 20s, … [Read more...] about N. Korea slams Kim Jong-Un plastic surgery reports
North Korea's next dynastic succession may have been secured, with new TV images of leader Kim Jong-Un's wife suggesting that Pyongyang's first lady recently gave birth. When state TV showed Ri Sol-Ju attending a memorial service for her husband's late father Kim Jong-Il in mid-December, she appeared heavily pregnant with her loose-fit traditional dress barely hiding a swollen belly. But more recent images of her attending an official New Year's party showed her wearing a well-fitted two-piece skirt suit with no physical sign of pregnancy. Speculation was fuelled by the official performance, which included an all-woman band singing a version of the Christmas favourite "When a Child is Born" made popular by Johnny Mathis. South Korean television and newspapers on Thursday ran before-and-after photos with speculative captions. "The bulging stomach has gone down ... has Ri Sol-Ju given birth?" asked the Dong-A Ilbo daily. "Ri Sol-Ju with her tummy reduced in 11 days. Has she come … [Read more...] about An heir for North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un?