Assassination of Kim Jong Nam Trial: What We Know So Far

The Kim Jong Nam murder trial began on October 2, 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is currently in recess until November 6, 2017. Here’s what we know so far:

Kim Jong Nam was the older half-brother of North Korea Kim Jong Un. They shared the same father.

Kim Jong Nam was assassinated on February 13, 2017 at the Kuala Lumpur Airport in Malaysia. His assassination was caught on surveillance cameras.

In the video, Kim Jong Nam is approached from behind by a woman who smears something onto his face, particularly in the area of his eyes. A second woman then repeats the process. The women each go to separate restrooms and wash their hands and then leave the airport without incident.

Kim Jong Nam gestures for help from airport security and is escorted to a medical area of the airport. He is medically distressed and is transported to a hospital but pronounced dead at the hospital. (Initial reports said he was dead within 20 minutes, but the trial account says it was approximately 2 hours before death occurred.)

The chemicals are later determined to be a VX nerve agent classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

The women are identified via video surveillance and are arrested within a few days of the incident. They claim they thought they were part of a prank for a reality TV show and did not know the chemicals were lethal. Both women claimed they were directed by four men known only by nicknames.

The women have been charged with murder and face death by hanging if it convicted.

This combination of file handout pictures released by the Royal Malaysian Police in Kuala Lumpur shows suspects Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, left, and Siti Ashyah of Indonesia, right, who were detained in connection to the Feb. 13, 2017, assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. (AFP/Getty Images)

The women face death by hanging if convicted.


The accused are Indonesian citizen Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese citizen Doan Thi Huong, 29.

Murder occurred at 9 am while Nam waited near the check-in counter in the departure hall at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. He was travelling alone.

Nam was carrying a passport that said his name was Kim Jong Chol, which is the name of Kim Jong Un’s younger brother.

See More about Kim Jong Chol, Eric Clapton Super Fan at: 

The North Korean government requested that no autopsy be performed on the body. The attorney general’s office in Kuala Lumpur overruled the request and the autopsy was performed on February 15. No next of kin was available to identify the body and North Korea officially denied the dead man was Kim Jong Nam, insisting instead it was actually the Kim Jong Chol identified by the passport. Through a secret process, DNA was obtained from Kim Jong Nam’s son and the body was confirmed to be that of Kim Jong Nam. (Kim Jong Nam’s family is now in hiding.)

The autopsy confirmed acute VX nerve agent poisoning. Nam’s body was released to the North Korean embassy under pressure. Malaysian and North Korean relations are now very tense.

The trial was briefly moved to a lab to safely view VX stained clothing belonging to both the victim and the suspects.

Next, video footage showed Kim Jong Nam after the attack in distress, escorted to an onsite medical clinic, walking first and then staggering, and on a stretcher being wheeled to an ambulance.

Video also showed the two suspects fleeing the scene after washing their hands.

It was revealed that Kim Jong Nam had $100,000 in cash on him when he died.

Each woman’s lawyer was hired by her own country and blame NK for the attack, insisting women are just dupes.

Police revealed that Huong had done a practice “prank” at the airport two days before.

About two weeks into the trial, the issue of the mystery men who are suspected of directing the two women began to unfold.

The men have only been named in court by the pseudonyms they gave to the women:

Mr.Y, seen walking with Doan into the airport and also seen pouring liquid into Doan’s hands.

Mr. Chang, seen with Siti Aisyah at a restaurant and also seen pouring liquid into her hands.

Hanamori, also known as Grandpa/Uncle, suspected of giving orders to Mr. Y and the apparent ringleader of the operation.

James who is suspected of recruiting Siti Aisyah.

(Although it has not yet been discussed in the trial, Interpol issued an international red warrant for Ri Ji Hyon, Hong Song Hac, O Joong Gil and Ri Jae Nam. These four are charged in the crime as well, a charge called “Common Intention,” but are considered to be “still at large.”)

On October 24, the trial moved to the scene of the crime. The overwrought suspects were transferred to wheelchairs and one was crying. They had to wear bullet proof vests and handcuffs.

A North Korea scientist named Ri Jong Chol has not been charged although he did own a car that took two of the men to the airport on the day of the crime. Due to “insufficient evidence” he was deported back to NK.

It was revealed Nam had a total of 4 passports all bearing the name  of Kim Chol.

The four wanted men all left Malaysia by air on the same day as the murder and video shows attempts to make changes to their appearances after visits to the restroom.

The trial resumes on November 6, 2017.

Dress Responsibly: Halloween Costumes to Avoid from “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume”

In 2011, the “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” was launched at Ohio University. The campaign shared examples of stereotyping and has been promoted by other universities hoping to remind students to use caution and sensitivity when choosing this year’s Halloween attire.

Here are a few serious examples of what not to wear this Halloween:


And then there are the parodies…


Allegations Jail Nurse Performed Exorcism on Dying Inmate

Oklahoma County Jail Nurse Linda Herlong Jackson, an employee of Armor Correctional Health Services, faces allegations she attempted to perform on exorcism on a thrashing inmate in need of medical care. The inmate died the next day due to a methamphetamine induced heart event.

The death occurred in February of 2017, and the nurse was suspended from duties pending a full investigation. The allegations have now been turned over to the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s office to determine if charges are to be filed.

Nurse Jackson denies allegations that she asked if anyone minded if she attempted to perform an exorcism. Detention officers at the jail reported hearing her exclaim, “I revoke you demons.”

Pen Pineapple Apple Pen Star to Regale Trump During Visit to Japan

The Japan Times reports President Donald Trump will be entertained during his official visit next week by PPAP singer Pikotaro during a dinner party hosted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Pikotaro is close to the heart of President Trump, as his granddaughter Arabella was featured performing her version of the hit song “Pen-Pineapple- Apple-Pen” in a video shared by her mother Ivanka Trump last year.

Arabella’s official version of PPAP:

In April of 2017 the Japan Embassy in DC shared this special version of the song celebrating Japan and America as best friends.

Bob Avakian, Refuse Fascism and Nov4 It Begins

Who is Bob Avakian?

Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party in the United States since 1975.

Author of multiple books, including the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America.

In 2005 Avakian published an autobiography called From Ike to Mao and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist.

Recent press release calls him “the most radical revolutionary alive.”

Critics call him the head of a “cult of personality.” (MORE ABOUT THIS BELOW)

Former student at the University of California, Berkeley during free speech movement.

Known as “Chairman Bob” or “BA.”

Often spends time in self-imposed exile, though he is not wanted for anything.

Maoist synthesized with Marxism, Leninism and science.

In 2016 Avakian founded Refuse Fascism, an organization opposed to the presidency of Donald Trump. Previously founded “World Can’t Wait” campaign to overthrow the Bush regime.


Robert Bruce Avakian, born March 7, 1943 in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Berkeley, California.

Previous involvement with the Students for a Democratic Society at Berkeley, the Free Speech Movement, the Black Panther Party, Revolutionary Youth Movement, Bay Area Revolutionary Union.

Charged with assaulting a police officer in January 1979 at a demonstration in Washington DC to protest Deng Xiaoping’s meeting with Jimmy Carter. Fled to France. Charges dismissed but remained in self-imposed exile.


To this day, through his talks and writings, and his overall political and ideological leadership, Bob Avakian has continued to guide the RCP, USA, in its fundamental orientation and strategic approach of working for revolution in the U.S. itself and contributing all it can to  revolution and the ultimate goal of communism in the world as a whole.

Cult of personality criticism

Described by critics as having created a this mystique of exile (he is not wanted for anything), he is said to equate himself with revolutionaries such as Malcolm X with a target on his back, the subject of death threats  and a victim of US government attacks and persecution. Followers said to cherish and idealize “Chairman Bob.” He fights for the oppression of Black people, Latinos, women and other oppressed sections of society.

Bob Avakian posters, in the spirit of Che Guevarra posters, are often posted at the Burning Man festival to create hype and generate interest. (BA t-shirts are also available.)

The Article “Free Bob Avakian! Oh, he’s already free? Never mind” written by Mark Oppenheimer (2008) goes into more detail about the cult of personality.


Sunsara Taylor, advocate of Bob Avakian’s new communism, writer for, is a co-initiator of Refuse Fascism. Here she is with Bill O’Reilly in 2007 discussing the “Shout-Down” technique the group often employs.

Bob Avakian is set to speak on the UC Berkeley campus in April, 2018 about freedom of expression and communist revolution. The press release indicates he will be exposing and refuting the lies and distortions of Berkeley’s Chancellor Christ about the Free Speech Movement. This event will be co-organized by Sunsara Taylor.

Revolution Books is a chain of bookstores opened with support of the Revolutionary Communist Party of the U.S. which is spearheaded by activist and political theorist Bob Avakian and which sells his many books and pamphlets.

Civil War 2017? Not really–the story behind the hashtag

Don’t Get Sextorted, Send a Naked Mole Rat 

Online Sextortion and teen boys


The new website offers resources for boys, educators and parents to facilitate open conversations about the issue and a link to confidential online help. Downloadable, teen-friendly sharable communication tools and the #dontgetsextorted hashtag encourage sharing of the prevention message among boys.

“Awareness is critical because you can’t avoid a threat you don’t know about,” says Lianna McDonald, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

The Don’t Get Sextorted, Send a Naked Mole Rat campaign breaks down communication barriers with a character that uses humour and innuendo to appeal to teenage boys; capture their attention; and make it easier to talk about sextortion. The naked mole rat character is also portrayed in memes that can be sent as a prankster-style alternative to those asking for nudes online. It gives boys an easy “way out” of a potential sextortion situation.

The naked mole rat – a little-known African rodent; pink, hairless, and three to four inches in size – is the ideal character for giving boys something to talk about and an alternative to sending a nude. The rodent is cold-blooded; feels no pain; and can be deprived of oxygen for up to 18 minutes. With its feature role in Canada’s first sextortion awareness campaign targeted at boys, it may be able to add protecting Canadian teens to its list of capabilities.

Rat spotted at White House? Be Careful Kellyanne Conway!

Kellyanne Conway is surprised by a passing rodent during an interview. Expressing hope that it’s a squirrel and not a rat, she has good reason to fear rats: during World War II it was hoped rats could be weaponized. Read the plans from Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) below.

Courtesy National Archives, United Kingdom

From 1939 to late 1942 Germany and its allies had the upper hand in the war. During this period it was difficult for Britain and its allies to take any direct action against German forces. To tackle this problem British Prime Minister Winston Churchill set up the Special Operations Executive (SOE). SOE’s job was to go into occupied countries and spread propaganda, collect information and attack important targets.

From the Descriptive Catalogue of Special Devices and Supplies used by the SOE, compiled and issued by the War Office:

Transcript Instructions for creating an exploding rat Catalogue ref: HS 7/49


A rat is skinned, the skin being sewn up and filled with P.E. [plastic explosive] to assume the shape of a dead rat. A Standard No. 6 Primer [this sets off the explosion] is set in the P.E. Initiation is by means of a short length of safety fuse with a No. 27 detonator crimped on one end and a copper tube igniter on the other end, or as in the case of the illustration above, a PTF with a No27 detonator attached. The rat is then left amongst the coal beside a boiler and the flames initiate the safety fuse when the rat is thrown on to the fire, or as in the case of the PTF a Time Delay is used.

Sadly, the project was ultimately abandoned.

Eric Clapton Super Fan? Who is Kim Jong Chol?

2015 photo taken at Eric Clapton Concert courtesy Yonhap News Agency

Mystery surrounds the older brother of Kim Jong Un. Few, if any, facts are known, other than the fact that he loves Eric Clapton. He was reportedly spotted in public only a very few times, and each of these times involved an Eric Clapton concert.

In 2006, Kim Jong Chol (sometimes referred to as Kim Jong Chul) purportedly attended several Clapton shows in Germany. Next, five years later, in 2011, Kim Jong Chol was spotted in Singapore at a show.

Courtesy Hankook Ilbo.

Then, in 2015, a camera crew caught him on film attending Eric Clapton’s show at Albert Royal Hall, apparently going two nights in a row. The slim, handsome man was wearing a slick leather jacket and dark shades.

Wikileaks cables dated 2007 reveal the following tidbits of information on Clapton’s biggest fan:

Quoting Dr. Stephen Linton, Chairman of the Eugene Bell Foundation, (who) described a recent two-week mission in the DPRK to oversee Eugene Bell medical assistance programs…Linton, who has visited the DPRK regularly for nearly thirty years… the cable reads:

Arranging an Eric Clapton concert in Pyongyang could also be useful, he said, given Kim Jong-il’s second son’s devotion to the rock legend. END SUMMARY.

And again, a request that Eric Clapton come to Pyongyang…


9. (C) Linton passed on the suggestion from his North Korean interlocutors that the USG arrange for Eric Clapton to perform a concert in Pyongyang. As Kim Jong-il’s second son, Kim Jong-chol, is reported to be a great fan, the performance could be an opportunity to build good will. 


The Family Tree. The recently assassinated older brother, Kim Jong Nam, had a different mother.

Courtesy Korea Joongang Daily.

As to other factual information about Kim Jong Chol, there is very little. He and Kim Jong Un have the same mother, and Kim Jong Chol was born in 1981, studying in Switzerland as a young man.

Kim Jong Chol is said to have fallen out of favor as the leader of DPRK because he is, according to some, girlish and soft-hearted. The Hankook Ilbo newspaper out of Seoul, South Korea reports it this way: he was “suffering symptoms of hypersecretion of female hormones.” (No official source was quoted.)

Courtesy Hankook Ilbo.


North Korea: Killings, torture, arbitrary detention, rape, forced abortions: Human Rights Report

This report continues to shine a spotlight on the serious human rights abuses committed by the Government of North Korea, including those involving extrajudicial killings, forced labor, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention, as well as rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence inside the country. Many of the country’s human rights abuses underwrite the regime’s weapons program, including forced labor in the form of mass mobilizations, re-education through labor camps, and overseas labor contracts. Thousands of North Koreans are sent abroad every year to work in slave-like conditions, earning revenue for the regime.

Report on Serious Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in North Korea

October 26, 2017

Section 304 (a) of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016, Public Law 114-122, enacted on February 18, 2016, requires that the Secretary of State provide a report to Congress every 180 days that: (1) identifies each person the Secretary determines to be responsible for serious human rights abuses or censorship in North Korea and describes the conduct of that person; and (2) describes serious human rights abuses or censorship undertaken by the Government of the DPRK or any person acting for or on behalf of the DPRK in the most recent year ending before the submission of the report. The report is being submitted to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Financial Services, and the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate.

This report continues to shine a spotlight on the serious human rights abuses committed by the Government of North Korea, including those involving extrajudicial killings, forced labor, torture, prolonged arbitrary detention, as well as rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence inside the country. Many of the country’s human rights abuses underwrite the regime’s weapons program, including forced labor in the form of mass mobilizations, re-education through labor camps, and overseas labor contracts. Thousands of North Koreans are sent abroad every year to work in slave-like conditions, earning revenue for the regime.

In addition, the regime’s efforts to control North Koreans’ freedom of movement and access to information reach far beyond its sovereign boundaries. The government deploys security officials on assignments overseas to monitor the activities of North Koreans abroad and to forcibly repatriate individuals seeking asylum abroad.

This report details aspects of the human rights situation in North Korea and the conduct of relevant persons, including those determined by the Secretary of State to be responsible for the commission of serious human rights abuses or censorship in the DPRK.

The Military Security Command (MSC) monitors military personnel for anti-regime activity and investigates political crimes in the military. According to the UN Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the situation in the DPRK, it is “the military’s own secret police.” While technically part of the Korean People’s Army General Staff Department, the MSC reports to the Ministry of State Security. In practice, its jurisdiction extends beyond the military to ordinary citizens of the DPRK, as well. COI witnesses have stated that the MSC extracts information through torture and those accused of political crimes can be executed without trial by the MSC. Defectors and numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) report that the MSC operates special prison camps where military personnel are held indefinitely without trial for political offenses.

Jo Kyong-Chol is the commander of the MSC. According to NGO reports, he is responsible for human rights abuses in the DPRK’s defense-industrial complex. Jo is also responsible for communication and implementation of state policies, including those involving human rights abuses, passed directly to him by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un to elements of the security apparatus. South Korean media has reported he is considered one of three “angels of death” for his direct involvement in purges soon after Kim Jong Un assumed power, which targeted Kim’s uncle, Jang Song-taek, as well as people close to Jang. According to various NGO and media reports, the purges for which Jang and his associates are responsible involved arbitrary arrest and detention, banishment, and executions conducted without due process. In addition, family members and associates of officials purged with Jang were rounded up and sent to political prison camps without trial.

Sin Yong Il is the deputy director of the MSC. In his capacity as one of four deputies, Sin Yong Il conducts the daily on-the-ground operations for the MSC and has direct knowledge of the special investigations it conducts. He reports to the commander of the MSC, who takes orders directly from Kim Jong Un. According to reports, including reports by foreign governments, he is responsible for tasking and verifying the implementation of orders of censorship, including the crackdown on the flow of foreign information and media devices, and orders to abduct and detain DPRK citizens abroad suspected of seeking asylum.

Jong Yong Su is the minister of labor. In this capacity, he oversees the Ministry of Labor (MOL), which the Department of State identified as responsible for serious human rights abuses in the January 11, 2017, report. As that report notes, the MOL works together with the State Planning Commission (SPC) to implement an economic system based on forced labor. Through the combined efforts of the SPC and the MOL, the government compels lower-class North Koreans to join paramilitary forced labor brigades that essentially serve as slave labor for the regime. According to Human Rights Watch, these brigades work extended periods of time without pay. They are often forced to work up to 14 hours a day, six or seven days a week, with no compensation. In this position, Jong directs the day-to-day activities of the MOL, including direct supervision over the placement of workers in positions of forced labor.

Ri Thae-chol is first vice minister of the Ministry of People’s Security (MPS) and a colonel general in the Korean People’s Army. In the July 6, 2016, report, the Department of State identified the MPS as responsible for serious human rights abuses and censorship. Ri reports directly to the minister of people’s security and communicates policies to the rest of the ministry through the chief of staff. Ri directly oversees the 50 bureaus of the MPS as they restrict the freedoms of expression and movement and operate labor camps known for abuse and torture.

Kim Kang Jin is the director of the External Construction Bureau, a DPRK government agency that manages the construction firms that send laborers from the DPRK to work in countries across the world. The UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK noted in a February 2017 report that these laborers are reportedly kept under strict supervision by officials from the DPRK and are consequently unable to exercise freedoms of expression, movement, and peaceful assembly. The report further notes that these laborers are subject to “serious violations of international labour standards, including long working hours, delayed and below-minimum-wage payments and lack of safety measures.” The European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea noted in July 2016 that DPRK laborers sent abroad frequently worked exceedingly long shifts for six days a week, yet most of their pay was repatriated back to the DPRK government, rendering them “state-sponsored slaves.” As director of this bureau, Kim sets policies that allow for dangerous working conditions, long hours, and withholding of pay. These directives create a system of forced labor, which constitutes a serious human rights abuse.

Ku Sung Sop (AKA Ku Young Hyok) is the North Korean consul general in Shenyang, China. Prior to serving in this capacity, Ku was the Ministry of State Security director for foreign counterintelligence. According to foreign government reports, Ku’s primary responsibilities in China include surveillance and monitoring of overseas workers, who are forced to work long hours and have their pay withheld by the DPRK government, and supervising the forced repatriation of North Korean asylum seekers in China.

Kim Min Chol is a second secretary at the DPRK embassy in Vietnam and the Ministry of State Security safety representative. Kim’s responsibilities at the embassy include hands-on participation in the forced repatriations from and disappearances in Vietnam of North Korean asylum seekers from the DPRK. According to a foreign government, in 2013, he led the kidnapping of South Korean missionary Kim Jong Wook, who was later sentenced to hard labor in North Korea.

Chol Hyun Construction is a North Korean company, acting on behalf of the DPRK government, which exports workers from the DPRK to other countries, primarily Gulf States and Africa. According to media reports, Chol Hyun Construction requires its workers in Kuwait to log extremely long hours (on average, 14 hours per day) and confines its workers to their quarters when they are not working. The same report indicates these workers are paid meager salaries. The report explains workers receive roughly $800-$1000 per month, 40 percent of which is paid directly into a North Korean government bank account, 20 percent is withheld by the site supervisor for company operating costs, and another 10 percent is withheld for room and board expenses. The remaining $165-$200 per month belongs to the worker, but workers are often required to give their cash to the site supervisor for “safe-keeping.” These workers are also forbidden from leaving the work site and group housing facility without permission from the North Korean security officer assigned to the work site. A South Korean media outlet also reports that North Korean workers in the Middle East, including employees of Chol Hyun Construction are kept in slave-like conditions, including having salaries and passports withheld by DPRK security officials assigned as site supervisors, meager food rations, poor living conditions, and severe restrictions on their freedom of movement.

President Donald J. Trump’s Upcoming Travel to Asia: Statement from the Press Secretary

President Donald Trump delivers the Address to Congress on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol. This is the President’s first Address to Congress of his presidency. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Statement from the Press Secretary on President Donald J. Trump’s Upcoming Travel to Asia

As was announced on September 29, 2017, President Donald J. Trump will travel to Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Hawaii, from November 3-14, 2017. This update provides further details about the President’s itinerary.

The President’s travel will underscore his commitment to longstanding United States alliances and partnerships, and reaffirm United States leadership in promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

On November 3, the President will visit Hawaii and receive a briefing from the U.S. Pacific Command. He will visit Pearl Harbor and the USS ARIZONA Memorial.

The President will commence his visit to Asia beginning with Japan on November 5. While in Japan, President Trump will meet with American and Japanese service members, and participate in bilateral meetings with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will also host the President for a meeting with the families of Japanese citizens abducted by the North Korean regime.

During his visit to the Republic of Korea on November 7, the President will participate in a bilateral meeting with President Moon Jae-in and visit American and South Korean service members. The President will speak at the National Assembly, where he will celebrate the enduring alliance and friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea, and call on the international community to join together in maximizing pressure on North Korea.

On November 8, President Trump will arrive in Beijing, China for a series of bilateral, commercial, and cultural events, including meetings with President Xi Jinping.

The President will travel to Danang, Vietnam, on November 10. There, he will participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and deliver a speech at the APEC CEO Summit. In the speech, the President will present the United States’ vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region and underscore the important role the region plays in advancing America’s economic prosperity. On November 11, the President will travel to Hanoi, Vietnam for an official visit and bilateral engagements with President Tran Dai Quang and other senior Vietnamese leaders.

President Trump will arrive in Manila, Philippines, on November 12 to participate in the Special Gala Celebration Dinner for the 50th Anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On November 13, the President will celebrate the 40th anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations at the U.S.-ASEAN Summit and participate in bilateral meetings with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and other leaders.