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Women on trial visit airport where Kim Jong Nam was attacked


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Women on trial visit airport where Kim Jong Nam was attacked

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SEPANG, Malaysia (AP) -- The two women accused of killing the North Korean leader's half brother toured the Malaysian airport Tuesday as participants in their murder trial visited the scene of the attack.

The judge, prosecutors, defense lawyers and representatives of the women's home countries were escorted inside the Kuala Lumpur airport by heavily armed police on a tour meant to give the trial participants a better perspective of events as they unfolded.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam appeared subdued at the start of the tour, which took a break about an hour later when Aisyah became emotional. She was seen sobbing quietly. She and Huong were given water to drink and when the tour resumed, both were being pushed around in wheelchairs.

Prosecutor Mohamad Fairuz Johari said Aisyah had difficulty breathing, probably due to the heavy bulletproof vest she wore.

High Court Judge Azmi Ariffin visited the check-in kiosk in the budget terminal where the two women allegedly smeared VX nerve agent onto Kim Jong Nam's face on Feb. 13. The judge followed the path Kim walked to seek help at the airport clinic and retraced the movement of the two women, who were seen on security footage rushing to restrooms afterward to wash their hands.

Huong and Aisyah are the only two suspects detained in the brazen assassination of Kim, an outcast from North Korea's ruling family who lived abroad in virtual exile for years. Their defense lawyers have said the women were duped by suspected North Korean agents into believing they were playing a harmless prank for a TV show.

South Korea's spy agency has said the attack was part of a five-year plot by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to kill a brother he reportedly never met. Kim Jong Nam was not thought to be seeking influence over his younger brother but had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic rule.

Since the trial opened Oct. 2, witnesses have testified that Kim died from acute VX poisoning and that the banned chemical agent was found on his face and clothing and on the women's clothing and on Huong's fingernail clippings.

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This story has been corrected to show the visit to the airport does not include a re-enactment of the attack.

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