The suspected accomplice in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport has been revealed to be a Vietnamese woman named Doan Thi Huong.
In the CCTV footage released by Malaysian police, Doan, 28, is the woman wearing the “LOL” shirt that grabbed Kim from behind as she and another woman reportedly wiped an unidentified toxic liquid on the exiled North Korean’s face leading to his death on Feb. 13, according to Reuters.
As of press time, at least one of Doan’s three Facebook accounts, which were brought to our attention by Keow Wee Loong, a user in Doan’s friend network, are still active. In one account she goes by the name “Ruby Ruby” while in another she goes by “Ring Ring”.
Doan’s posts the week before the murder reveal that she is a seemingly normal young woman posting selfies and pictures of food while referencing to a significant other with comments like “I want to sleep more but by your side” and “I can eat very much And I can eat u [hehehehehehe] My boy”.
On Feb. 8, she uploaded a selfie of herself wearing what appears to be the “LOL” shirt under some overalls.
Doan’s brother, Joseph Doan, told Reuters that his sister was born in 1988 in Nam Dinh province, southeast of Hanoi, Vietnam, details that were corroborated by Malaysian police.
“We only hear on the internet and everyone else hears on the internet but judging from the picture it looks like her. I can’t be a 100 percent certain because we haven’t met her yet,” he told Reuters.
Joseph Doan, who works in Vietnam as a rice farmer, explained that his sister left home when she was 18 and came and went as she pleased without letting her family know. Family members had believed she was working in Hanoi.
Her penchant for travel was confirmed by her older posts in January, where Doan’s photos were geo-tagged at the V-Hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Jan. 14. On Jan. 18, her selfie revealed she had traveled back to Hanoi, Vietnam. She would later travel to Malaysia by February.
According to Malaysian police, Doan worked in an entertainment outlet, but officials did not specify for what company or Doan’s immigration status. Facial recognition tools matched Doan’s pictures to the woman police had in custody.
A third Facebook account under the name “Bella Tron Tron Bella”, which Doan’s family recognized as hers, featured more of her pictures as well as a link to when Doan appeared on the singing talent show “Vietnam Idol”. That account showed no new posts after November 2016.
Doan bears a striking resemblance to a woman who appeared on the show as contestant number 67816 on June 3, 2016.
Vietnamese authorities have been in touch with her father, Doan Van Thanh, 63, since the arrest. Doan’s father, who lost his leg fighting for the north in the Vietnam War, told Reuters:
“They only say they will support Huong as she is Vietnamese, but did not tell me if she is really a suspect.
“Even though I am her father I cannot control things that happened when she is out there. I cannot know.”
Interestingly, 27 out of the 65 friends on the “Ruby Ruby” Facebook page have Korean names. Her number of friends has since dropped to 57. The majority of her friends are also male.
Most of Doan’s photos show her to be a normal woman for her age — certainly nothing that would give suspect to her being a hired assassin. She “liked” the pages of cosmetics, clothing brands, and fast food stores. She listed Harvard as her education on one profile, but Doan’s relatives said they did not believe this to be true.
South Korean intelligence officials suspect Doan to be what they call a “lizard’s tail”, or a hired asset that can be cast off after an operation with little to no consequence for the highly suspected North Korean agents behind the assassination.
On Jan. 3, Doan posted a picture of a purchased boarding pass from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur — the fateful destination where she believed she would be playing a prank on an unsuspecting Kim Jong-Nam as he waited to check in for his flight back to his home in Macau.
Reports suggest Doan had practiced the “prank” in malls in Kuala Lumpur. On Feb. 13, after her encounter with Kim, she and her accomplice washed their hands of the liquid before leaving the airport.
Doan had not been a stranger to pranks or short video productions. A Vietnamese YouTuber’s video posted last April shows her interacting with a man and and giggling before kissing him.