The Assassin Who Killed the North Korean Dictator’s Brother Might Have Been This Cute Pop Star Wannabe

Don’t be fooled by her killer smile.

When North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam died in a Malaysian airport on February 13th, the women involved in his assassination were caught on video. One image from that surveillance almost immediately went viral—that of a woman clad in an intensely ironic long-sleeved tee that simply read “LOL.” The New York Post put together a video highlighting her possible role, which you can watch below.

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Reuters reports that the same woman may have been identified as Doan Thi Huong, a fame-hungry young woman from Vietnam who was apparently even a contestant on Vietnam Idol at one point.

According to Reuters, Huong and another woman “wiped a liquid, containing an as yet unidentified toxic substance, on Kim Jong Nam’s face at Kuala Lumpur’s budget air terminal on Feb. 13.” The women later said that they thought the incident, which was captured by security cameras, was a joke or prank. 

As for Huong, she appeared to go by “Ruby Ruby” on Facebook, and her profile page there provides plenty of reason to believe she may have indeed been the “LOL” assassin. Like this photo she posted on Feb. 8 of her wearing an “LOL” long-sleeved tee. 

LOL assassin and Doan Thi Huong
LOL Assassin/Doan Thi Huong

The comparison with a still from security video leaves a little room for calling this a coincidence since the video image is so grainy, but “Ruby Ruby” also posted images of her plane ticket to travel to Malaysia’s capitol of Kuala Lumpur in early January.

Ruby Ruby ticket images
From “Ruby Ruby’s” Facebook

If she did it, don’t assume that Doan Thi Huong was some highly trained movie-style assassin, though. In a comprehensive and intriguing report on Kim Jong Nam’s death in the New York Times, the women who took Kim Jong Nam down were referred to as “lizard’s tails,” or “expendable assets” who would be left hanging in the wind after assisting North Korean agents in pulling off any kind of espionage or assassination. 

Dong Thi Huong
From “Ruby Ruby’s” Facebook

The last photo (above) posted on the “Ruby Ruby” Facebook page was dated Feb. 10—two days before Kim Jong Nam was killed. The caption was in English: “I want to sleep more but by your side.”

If Dong Thi Huong was really recruited by savvy North Korean operatives seeking willing patsies to take down their dictator’s estranged brother, that caption makes it easy to wonder if Huong was an innocent conned by romance.

Whatever the truth is, Kim Jong Un still had his mission accomplished.

h/t NYT, Reuters