Kim Jong-nam's son laying low

  • 09/03/2017

A man claiming to be the son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's slain, estranged half-brother says he is alive and well, and laying low with his mother and sister in a video which has been posted online.

Kim held up a black North Korean service passport in the video and opened it. The details were edited out, but a North Korean state stamp is visible on one page, as is a line of English text which said the passport's validity had been extended.

The video was uploaded by a group that said it helped rescue the group following the murder a month ago.

The governments of the Netherlands, China, the United States, and a fourth unnamed country provided emergency humanitarian assistance to protect the family, the group, called Cheollima Civil Defense, said in a statement.

An official at South Korea's National Intelligence Service said the man in the video is Kim Han-sol, the 21-year-old son of Kim Jong-nam, who was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13 by assassins, who Malaysian police say used a super-toxic nerve agent.

The intelligence official declined to go beyond identifying Kim Han-sol during the 40-second video posted on Wednesday,

"I'm currently with my mother and my sister...," he said, speaking in English, without disclosing his location.

Kim Han-sol is the son of Kim Jong-nam's second wife, who had been living in the Chinese territory of Macau with Kim under Beijing's protection after the family went into exile several years ago.

South Korean intelligence officers say North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had issued standing orders for the elimination of his elder half-brother.

The statement released on the website of Cheollima Civil Defense said the organisation responded last month to an emergency request by Kim Jong-nam's family members for "extraction and protection".

The group thanked Dutch ambassador to North and South Korea, Lody Embrechts, for his "timely and strong response" to the group's request for help.

Mr Embrechts declined to comment on the statement.

South Korean intelligence and US officials say Kim Jong-nam's murder was an assassination organised by North Korean agents.

Malaysian police have identified eight North Koreans wanted for questioning in the case, but the only people charged with the murder so far are an Indonesian woman and a Vietnamese woman who police say wiped the VX nerve agent on the victim's face.