Chinese authorities foil North Korean assassination attempt on leader’s nephew
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Chinese authorities foil North Korean assassination attempt on leader’s nephew

CHINESE authorities have reportedly arrested two men in an alleged plot to assassinate the eldest son of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean supreme leader who was killed in a cloak-and-dagger style murder in Malaysia earlier this year.

Sources who spoke with South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo said the two men were allegedly North Korean operatives who were part of a seven-man team secretly dispatched to China to kill 22-year-old Kim Han Sol.

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Kim Jong Nam, the older half brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is seen in this handout picture taken on June 4, 2010, provided by Joongang Ilbo and released by News1 on February 14, 2017. Source: Joongang Ilbo/News1 via Reuters

The two suspects were arrested last week and are currently being questioned in the outskirts of Beijing, while the remaining five are believed to be still at large, the Korea JoongAng Daily reported.

The source who spoke anonymously on Monday said North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau recently sent the team to Beijing to search for the nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and kill him. The group was sent to China without the knowledge of Beijing.

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Before the spies could carry out the attack, officials from China’s State Security Ministry apprehended two of the spies.

South Korea’s Intelligence Service said they were not aware of the alleged plot.

On Feb 13, a team of North Korean spies allegedly assassinated Jong Nam at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 with the help of two women from Vietnam and Indonesia who smothered his face with VX agent, a chemical substance banned by the United Nations.

Jong-Nam is survived by his second wife, Ri Hye Kyong, the eldest son, and a daughter named Kim Sol Hui, who were living in Macau until the time of the murder.

SEE ALSO: North Korea leader Kim wishes China’s Xi ‘great success’ in congratulatory letter

In 2012, Han-sol criticised his uncle Kim Jong-un as a “dictator” during an interview with a television station from Finland. The nephew, who is fluent in English had attended school at the United World College, in Bosnia-Herzegovina and had expressed hope for “world peace” one day.

After the father’s murder, Han-sol emerged in the public spotlight when he appeared on a YouTube video, saying: “My father has been killed a few days ago and I am currently with my mother and sister. And we are very grateful to…” before the remaining parts of the video were cut off.

He continued by saying, “We hope this will get better soon.”

Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD), the group which claimed in early March to have rescued Kim Jong Nam’s surviving family said all three members had been “relocated to safety” without disclosing any more details.

The group said China, United States, the Netherlands, and another government had provided assistance to protect the family.