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Kim Jong Nam had 'device to jam CCTVs'

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Restaurant owner: Murdered North Korean feared for his life

PETALING JAYA The murdered Mr Kim Jong Nam used to enjoy going to Malaysia but always had bodyguards with him as he feared for his life, said a restaurant owner who knew him.

"I suspect he had a device to jam the CCTVs. Whenever I checked the cameras after he left, there would be nothing," said Mr Alex Hwang, a South Korean whose restaurant Mr Kim frequented.

Mr Hwang told The Star: "He feared being assassinated, hence he always travelled with bodyguards."

He said Mr Kim would stay at five-star hotels whenever he was in town.

"Sometimes, he would bring his wife here," he said, adding that the half-brother of North Korean supremo Kim Jong Un had also brought his Singaporean girlfriend to Malay­­sia.

Three people, including two women who are believed to have killed Mr Kim at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Tuesday, have been arrested so far. One of the women was carrying a Vietnamese passport, while the other had an Indonesian passport on her.

The third is a Malaysian man.

Mr Hwang, who is the National Unification Advisory Council (Ma­­lay­sia) chairman and former president of the Korean Association in Malaysia, said: "There are so many restaurants in town, but he preferred Starhill Gallery because of the security there."

Mr Hwang believed that Mr Kim was there this time because he had some business or associates in Malaysia who could help him financially.

He feared being assassinated, hence he always travelled with bodyguards. Mr Alex Hwang, a South Korean

"He used to get financial aid from the North Korean embassy but not after his father died and he went into exile. He may have other financial sources here. I had tried persuading him to visit South Korea but he declined."

Another source told The Star that the late Mr Kim regularly visited between 2010 and 2013 when his cousin, Mr Jang Yong Chol, was North Korea's ambassador to Malaysia.

Then, Mr Kim would stay in a double-storey house at Bukit Da­­mansara.

The source said: "He would stay here for between 10 and 15 days on each trip. Some­times with his family."

The source said that Mr Kim was fond of the neighbourhood pubs in the Bukit Damansara commercial centre and the nightlife, party and club scene at Changkat Bukit Bin­tang.

Mr Kim was involved in the IT business, distributing hardware and software to businesses in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, the source added.

The New Straits Times (NST) reported that it took no more than five seconds and one fluid move to kill Mr Kim.

One of the women stood in front of him to distract him. The other, who had been lurking behind him, locked him in a chokehold to administer the poison that killed him.

Meanwhile, a source close to the post-mortem process told NST that there were no puncture wounds on his body or face.

It is understood that Mr Kim had high blood pressure when he died.

The source added that his tissue, urine and blood samples had been sent for analysis.

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