Malaysia arrests third suspect in connection with murder of Kim Jong Nam


Malaysian police made a third arrest on Thursday in their hunt for the people involved in the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The third person, whose nationality was not disclosed, was the friend of an Indonesian woman who was detained earlier in the day in connection with the killing of Kim Jong Nam at the airport in the Malaysian capital on Monday, police said.

"He was detained to facilitate investigations as he is the boyfriend of the second suspect," said Abu Samah Mat, the police chief in Selangor state, told Reuters. (For a graphic on North Korea's Kim family tree click: here)

Photos of Kim Jong Nam, Kim Jong Un's half-brother:

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Kim Jong Nam

Kim Jong Nam arrives at Beijing airport in Beijing, China, in this photo taken by Kyodo February 11, 2007.

(Kyodo/via REUTERS)

This combo shows a file photo (L) taken on May 4, 2001 of a man believed to be Kim Jong-Nam, son of the late-North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, getting off a bus to board an All Nippon Airways plane at Narita airport near Tokyo and a file photo (R) of his half-brother, current North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, on a balcony of the Grand People's Study House following a mass parade in Pyongyang on May 10, 2016. The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who has been murdered in Malaysia, pleaded for his life after a failed assassination bid in 2012, lawmakers briefed by South Korea's spy chief said on February 15, 2017. Jong-Nam, the eldest son of the late former leader Kim Jong-Il, was once seen as heir apparent but fell out of favor following an embarrassing botched bid in 2001 to enter Japan on a forged passport and visit Disneyland.

(TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA,ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

A man (R) believed to be North Korean heir-apparent Kim Jong Nam, is escorted by police as he boards a plane upon his deportation from Japan at Tokyo's Narita international airport in Narita, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo May 4, 2001. 

(Kyodo/via REUTERS)

A man watches a television showing news reports of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, in Seoul on February 14, 2017. Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been assassinated in Malaysia, South Korean media reported on February 14.

(JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

In a picture taken on June 4, 2010 Kim Jong-Nam, the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, waves after an interview with South Korean media representatives in Macau. Kim Jong-Nam was in the limelight with Seoul's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper carrying a snatched interview with him at a hotel in Macau. Jong-Nam declined knowledge of the warship incident, it reported, and said his father is 'doing well'. North Korean Leader Leader Kim Jong-Il on June 7 attended a rare second annual session of parliament at which Kim's brother-in-law was promoted and the country's prime minister was sacked, state media reported.

(JoongAng Sunday/AFP/Getty Images)

This photo taken on February 11, 2007 shows a man believed to be then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's eldest son, Kim Jong-Nam (C), walking amongst journalists upon his arrival at Beijing's international airport. The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, who has been murdered in Malaysia, pleaded for his life after a failed assassination bid in 2012, lawmakers briefed by South Korea's spy chief said on February 15, 2017.

(JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA: A man believed to be the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Nam, answers Japanese reporters' questions at the Beijing International airport, 25 September 2004.

(JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images)

A man believed to be North Korean heir-apparent Kim Jong-nam emerges from a bus as he is escorted by Japanese authorities upon his deportation from Japan at Tokyo's Narita international airport May 4, 2001. Believed to be Kim Jong-nam, eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the man entered Japan with a forged passport on Tuesday, but was deported to China on Friday.

(Eriko Sugita / Reuters)

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The Indonesian woman was remanded in custody for seven days along with another woman, who held a Vietnamese travel document, who was caught trying to leave the country through the budget airline terminal of Kuala Lumpur airport on Wednesday, the Bernama state news agency reported.

Kim Jong Nam, 46, was assaulted at the same airport on Monday with what was believed to be a fast-acting poison as he was about to leave on a flight to Macau.

He sought help, collapsed and died on his way to hospital.

Lawmakers in South Korea earlier cited their spy agency as saying it suspected two female North Korean agents had murdered Kim. U.S. government sources also said they believed North Korean assassins were responsible.

RELATED: Kim Jong Un: Major events since his rise to power

"After all the police and medical procedures are completed, we may release the body to the next of kin through the embassy," Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.

According to South Korea's spy agency, Kim had been living with his second wife, under Beijing's protection, in the Chinese territory of Macau, South Korean lawmakers said.

One of them said Kim also had a wife and son in Beijing.

In Beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday China was aware of reports of the murder and was closely following developments.

(Additional reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi in KUALA LUMPUR and Benjamin Lim in BEIJING; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore, Robert Birsel)

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