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  1. ITV Report

Kim Jong-nam: Second woman arrested over death of North Korean leader's half-brother

Kim Jong-Un (left) and his half-brother Kim Jong-Nam pictured in 2010. Credit: AP

A second woman has been arrested in Malaysia over the death of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Malaysia's state news agency Bernama announced the arrest had been confirmed by the inspector general of police.

South Korea's spy agency believes Kim Jong-nam was poisoned by two female North Korean agents while at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday.

A post-mortem examination has been carried out by Malaysian medical workers but it is not yet known if the results will be publicly released.

North Korea had objected to the autopsy and asked for Kim Jong Nam's body to be returned.

A senior Malaysian official said the procedure went ahead because North Korea did not submit a formal protest.

Malaysia says it may release the body of Kim Jong-nam to the next of kin after police and medical procedures have been completed.

On Wednesday, police detained a woman at the airport who was carrying a Vietnamese travel document.

CCTV was later released which showed her standing at the airport in a top that said "LOL".

The suspect was captured on CCTV. Credit: AP

Officials say 46-year-old Kim told medical workers he had been attacked with chemical spray before he died.

A passport under the name Kim Chol was found on Kim, with South Korean officials convinced he was on his way to the Chinese territory of Macau where he had been living.

Lawmakers in South Korea said their intelligence service believe North Korea was behind the death, a murder thought to be long in the planning.

A post-mortem examination is due to be carried out later.

  • Who was Kim Jong-nam?
Kim Jong-nam was the eldest son of Kim Jong-il (pictured) Credit: AP

Once tipped as the likely future leader of North Korea, Kim was the eldest son of former supreme leader Kim Jong-il - in power between 1994 and his death in 2011.

But Kim's prospects of leadership diminished after a failed attempt to sneak into Japan to visit Disneyland in 2001 using a false passport.

Banished from his father's favour, Kim reportedly survived multiple assassination attempts in previous years and subsequently spent a lot of time abroad.

Estranged from his relatives, Kim was known to travel throughout Asia and frequent casinos and five-star hotels.

Kim was the elder sibling of Kim Jong Chol and Kim Jong-un, the latter who assumed leadership of North Korea following the death of his father.

  • North Korea: A long history of assassinations?
Kim Jong-un has reportedly executed a number of government figures. Credit: AP

Despite only have been in power for six years, Kim Jong-un has executed a number of high-profile government figures who have found his disfavour.

Most notable was the case of his uncle, Jang Sung-taek, who was executed in 2013 - reportedly by anti-aircraft gun - after falling out of favour.

North Korea also has a long purported history of sending agents abroad to carry out assassinations, including more than one attempt on South Korean presidents.

Traitor cousin: Lee Han-young, a nephew-in-law of former leader Kim Jong-il, defected to South Korea via Switzerland in 1982.

South Korea kept the defection secret until 1996. Lee was found dead with gunshot wounds in a Seoul apartment in 1997.

Agents in South Korea believe Lee was killed by North Korean agents sent to deliver Pyongyang's payback.

Blast in Yangon: North Korean agents set off a bomb meant for South Korea's leader while he was visiting Burma (now Myanmar) in 1983.

President Chun Doo-hwan escaped the attack after his car was delayed, but the blast killed more than 20 people, including four Cabinet ministers and top aides.

High-profile defector: In 2010, two agents posing as defectors were arrested by South Korean police in a plot to assassinate Hwang Jang-yop, a former government official.

Hwang was a high-profile defector who sought refuge in South Korea, whose officials believed the two North Korean agents were under orders to slit Hwang's throat.

Hwang, who once tutored Kim Jong-il, bitterly criticised the North Korean government after his 1997 defection.

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