KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities announced two more arrests Thursday in the death of the North Korean leader's half brother, whose apparent assassination this week unleashed a wave of speculation and intrigue: a pair of female assailants, a broad-daylight killing and a dictator-sibling out for blood. Investigators were still piecing together details of the case, including the widespread assumption that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un dispatched a hit squad to kill his estranged half brother, Kim Jong Nam. Known for his love of gambling and casinos, Kim Jong Nam had lived abroad for years, aware he was a hunted man.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — What do we really know about the sudden death of an exiled North Korean princeling? Aside from heated media speculation and an instant "it's-gotta-be-Pyongyang" reaction from Seoul's spy agency, not much. As the investigation continues, the mystery of just what happened to the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he waited for a flight in a Malaysian airport only deepens. Was Kim Jong Nam poisoned? Are the two female suspects trained killers or dupes? How can we be sure that North Korea, which seems the obvious culprit, was even involved? South Korea's National Intelligence Service — no friend to Pyongyang — and eager reporters across Asia have assembled a dramatic, almost cinematic profile of the last hour of Kim's life.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean court approved on Friday the arrest of a billionaire heir to Samsung accused of bribery and other charges in connection to a massive corruption scandal, a stunning decline for the princeling of South Korea's richest family. The Seoul Central District Court's decision to issue a warrant to arrest Lee Jae-yong, 48, a vice chairman at Samsung Electronics and the only son of Samsung chair Lee Kun-hee. The arrest of Samsung's de facto leader will likely shock the business community and cheer the critics of chaebol, the South Korean family-controlled business conglomerates that dominate the economy.
HONG KONG (AP) — Seven Hong Kong police officers have been sentenced to two years in prison for assaulting a pro-democracy activist at the height of 2014 protests. The attack was caught on film by TV news cameras, stoking outrage among residents of the Chinese financial hub and further fueling the protests against Beijing's plan to restrict elections. District Court Judge David Dufton said Friday in his sentencing remarks that it was a serious case that required prison time. He said officers bound activist Ken Tsang's hands behind his back with plastic ties and subjected him to a "vicious assault." Protesters were scuffling with police in the pre-dawn hours of Oct.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean passenger plane that exploded off the coast of Southeast Asia. Army officers lured into sexual encounters. A secret agent spirited back to North Korea in a tiny submarine. North Korea has a long history of dispatching female spies on some of its most dangerous and deadly assignments. So the arrests of two women in connection with the apparent killing this week of an exiled member of North Korea's ruling family has helped fuel suspicions that the North was involved in the mysterious death. South Korea's intelligence agency believes that two women poisoned Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korea's ruler, as he stood in a shopping area at the Kuala Lumpur airport.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Unaware of reports his eldest son — and current leader Kim Jong Un's half brother — was killed just days ago in what appears to have been a carefully planned assassination, North Koreans marked the birthday of late leader Kim Jong Il on Thursday as they do every year, with dancing, special treats for children and reverential bows and bouquets of flowers before bronze statues. There has been no mention of half brother Kim Jong Nam's killing at the Kuala Lumpur airport in the North's official media. In fact, Kim Jong Nam, who is believed to have lived most of the past decade in a kind of exile away from the North, may as well have never existed as far as most North Koreans are concerned.
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesian diplomats have met with a woman arrested in Malaysia for suspected involvement in the killing of the North Korean leader's half brother and confirmed she is an Indonesian citizen, officials said Thursday. Authorities have identified her as Siti Aisyah, 25, originally from Serang in Banten, a province that neighbors the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. She was arrested by Malaysian police early Thursday. Indonesian Immigration Office spokesman Agung Sampurno said that officials from the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur met with the woman in Selangor state, where she has been imprisoned, and ensured she was safe. "They were allowed to see her but cannot make any questions," said Sampurno.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — An opposition senator pressed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday to publicly release details of his bank accounts to disprove allegations that he had large sums of undeclared money. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV first alleged Duterte had unexplained wealth during the presidential campaign last year. He told a news conference he was raising the issue again because Duterte has not yet revealed details of the more than 2 billion pesos ($40 million) he allegedly kept in bank accounts as a former city mayor. Trillanes, one of Duterte's harshest critics and a navy officer once detained for a failed coup plot against a former president, said he would resign if Duterte can disprove the allegations.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Several dozen people gathered Friday in Hanoi to commemorate Vietnam's brief but bloody border war with China nearly 40 years ago. The participants laid flowers and lit incense at the statue of King Ly Thai To, the founder of capital Hanoi, amid a heavy police presence. The authorities used loudspeakers to urge the crowd to disperse. There are no official government activities marking the event, but it was extensively covered in the state media this week. "I was moved because many people came here to lit incense to remember these heroic martyrs who sacrificed themselves defending Vietnamese borders," said Phung The Dung, one of the participants.
PATHUM THANI, Thailand (AP) — Thai police raided the head temple of a controversial Buddhist sect but failed to find and arrest the abbot, who faces criminal charges over accepting $40 million in embezzled money. The action Thursday followed several earlier failed attempts to seize Phra Dhammajayo, 72, head of the Dhammakaya sect. Police were previously thwarted when crowds of monks and followers blocked the way, risking a violent confrontation. The prime minister of Thailand's military government, Prayuth Chan-ocha, this time invoked an emergency order declaring the area around the temple a temporary "restricted area" to stop people from entering. Police deployed about 3,000 personnel to surround the temple before dawn, blocking hundreds of monks and followers who sat outside the compound's gates, chanting Buddhist texts in protest.