U.S. Charges Kim Jong-nam Assassination 'Mastermind'

  • By Kim Eun-joong

    September 14, 2020 11:52

    Ri Jong-chol

    The U.S. Justice Department has brought charges against a North Korean apparatchik suspected of masterminding the assassination of leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother, though not in connection with the murder.

    The department said on Sept. 11 that Ri Jong-chol has been charged with violation of international sanctions and financial fraud.

    According to the department, Ri established a shell company in Malaysia and laundered funds by accessing the U.S. financial system to purchase materials for the North Korean regime for more than a year since August 2015.

    The charges, filed in a federal court in Washington, identify Ri as an executive of the shell company under the North Korean Ministry of People's Armed Forces, which has been sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department.

    His daughter Ri Yu-gyong was also charged for supporting her father with translation services.

    Ri was arrested in Malaysia after the killing of Kim Jong-nam in 2017 but swiftly repatriated when the regime took Malaysian nationals working in North Korea hostage. 

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