Kwanwoo Jun, Alastair Gale, and Ben Otto report for the WSJ:
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un issued an assassination order to kill his half-brother after seizing power in 2011 and agents tried to execute it at least once before succeeding this week, South Korea's top spy chief said.
National Intelligence Service Director Lee Byung-ho's statement to South Korean lawmakers in a closed-door session on Wednesday came as Malaysia arrested a suspect in the mysterious airport killing this week of the brother, Kim Jong Nam.
"The longstanding order has been executed," said Lee Cheol-woo, who heads the South Korean legislature's intelligence committee, which oversees the spy agency, according to an aide to the lawmaker. "It reflects Kim Jong Un's propensity for paranoia, rather than his calculated act of removing a threat to his rule."
This paranoia illustrates why the possession of nuclear weapons by countries such as North Korea and Iran presents such a great danger. During the Cold War, "mutually assured destruction" saved the world from nuclear war because the Soviets, even though evil, were sane. That is not necessarily true of Kim Jong Un. While the Iranian mullahs may be sane enough not to launch a nuclear strike on the United States from their own country, I would not put it past them to provide a nuclear bomb to a terrorist group for a nuclear version of the 1993 truck bomb attack on the World Trade Center.