Two North Korean female agents apparently poisoned the victim at Kuala Lumpur airport. He was living in exile since 2001. Heir apparent to Kim Jong-il, he hoped to see the fall of Kim Jong-un’s regime with him as successor. The case appears to be another dynastic murder.
Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has been killed in Malaysia under mysterious circumstances, this according to South Korean sources.
Chosun TV, a South Korean cable television network, said that Kim was poisoned with needles at Kuala Lumpur airport by two women believed to be North Korean operatives. The two remain at large.
Initially, Malaysian police announced that an unidentified North Korean man had died en route to hospital from Kuala Lumpur airport on Monday.
Later, a Malaysian government source said that the man who died did not pass immigration and collapsed in shopping area.
Born in 1971, Kim Jong-nam He was the eldest son of the late Kim Jong-il, who fathered him in an extramarital relationship with Sung Hae-rim, a South Korean actress who died in Moscow.
The designated heir, he lost his father’s favour in 2001 when he was discovered secretly trying to enter Japan on a false passport to visit Disneyland. Since then he has lived in exile, mostly in Macau.
Kim Jong-nam, who loved the Western lifestyle, said that he was opposed to Pyongyang regime’s communist style of government, hoping perhaps that someone might espouse his cause and lead him back home to replace Kim Jong-un.
In a 2012 interview with a Japanese newspaper he said that unless North Korea undertook serious reforms, the system would collapse.
That same year, South Korean police arrested a refugee who later revealed that he was a North Korean spy. According to prosecution sources, the indicted spy said he had spent ten years as an undercover agent in China and was assigned to injure Kim Jong-nam and possibly take him back to Pyongyang.
If confirmed, Kim’s case would be the highest-profile death under the Kim Jong-un regime since the execution of the leader’s uncle Jang Song-thaek in December 2013.