Mother of Indonesian woman suspected of killing Kim Jong Nam: “She can speak English and Korean”

The information page of the passport belonging to the second suspect in Kim Jong Nam’s alleged assassination. Photo:

Speculation is rife that an Indonesian woman may have been working as an agent for North Korea following the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Malaysian police on Thursday morning arrested a woman who was carrying an Indonesian passport. The woman, identified as Siti Aisyah in her passport, was the second suspect arrested after the police arrested another woman, who was carrying Vietnamese travel documents, on Wednesday at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where Kim Jong Nam was assaulted with what was believed to be fast acting poison two days prior.

Local media in Indonesia are now looking into the possibility that Siti Aisyah may have been working as an agent or assassin for North Korea. And, according to the suspect’s mother who lives in her hometown of Serang in the Banten province, such a theory is possible.

“She can [speak English]. She can speak Korean too,” said Benah, Siti Aisyah’s mother, as quoted by Detik today. 

“I was shocked, I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know about [her capture], I found out through the TV.”

But others close to Siti Aisyah had difficulty believing she could be responsible for Kim Jong Nam’s death.

“How can she be an agent? She can’t even speak English, can’t even speak Mandarin. There’s no way she’s an agent, agents have to be able to speak many languages right?” said Akiong, Siti Aisyah’s former father-in-law, as quoted by Detik. 

“It’s not possible, she’s a good kid. She’s very kind, often prays.”

According to reports, Siti Aisyah entered KL on February 2. She was arrested at a hotel on February 16, three days after the deadly assault on Kim Jong Nam. Siti Aisyah is expected to remain in the custody of the Malaysian police for 7 days while an investigation into the alleged murder is being carried out.

The Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed that an Indonesian citizen was arrested in relation to Kim Jong Nam’s apparent assassination. The ministry is seeking consular access to the suspect in order to be able to provide legal assistance.

Malaysian police made a third arrest on Thursday in their hunt for the people responsible for the apparent assassination. Reports say that the third suspect is Siti Aisyah’s boyfriend, whose nationality was not disclosed.

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