South Korea confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, died Monday in Malaysia of an apparent poison attack.
However, on Wednesday, Malaysia police issued a statement saying they had detained a woman identified on a Vietnamese travel document as Doan Thi Huong.
The North Korean leader's brother was rushed to a local hospital but died on the way, according to reports.
The eldest son of Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Nam was hidden from public view for years because his father and actress mother were not legally married.
Kim Jong Nam had been less outspoken since 2011, when North Korean assassins reportedly tried to shoot him in Macau, Gause said, though the details of the attempted killing are murky. In his place, his half-brother Kim Jong Un rose to power.
The death comes a day after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the Sea of Japan in a test, which interrupted a dinner between USA president Donald Trump and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe. Since Thae's defection, North Korea has been especially sensitive to the prospect of other high-level defectors.
However, the police sources added that, officials from the secretive communist state had been to the hospital and were coordinating with Malaysian authorities. "We're taking this incident very seriously and we're keeping close tabs on the North", Hwang said.
According to the MPs, Kim had been given China's protection and was due to leave for Macau when he was killed by the agents. Although there was scant evidence that Kim Jong Nam was plotting against the North Korean leader, he provided an alternative for North Koreans who would want to depose his half brother.
"Because I was educated in the West, I was able to enjoy freedom from early age and I still love being free", he said in notes to a Japanese journalist, Yoji Gomi, who wrote a book on Kim Jong Nam in 2012.
On Feb. 13, Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, was assassinated while waiting to board a flight in Kuala Lumpur.
In response to reports that North Korea had asked to claim the body, he said there had been no official request. That's when Kim Jong-il began grooming another one of his four known sons, Kim Jong-un, to take the throne.
News of the murder comes two days after Kim Jong Un test-fired a ballistic missile as part of efforts to develop North Korea's nuclear-weapons capability.