Half-brother of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un believed dead, two female agents with 'poison needles' suspected
Kim Jong-Nam, the 45-year-old half-brother of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-Un, has died in Malaysia.
CBS News reports that the death has been classified by Malaysian police as “sudden."
CNN reports that the Selangor State Criminal Investigations Department said that Kim Jong-Nam fell ill at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.
Furthermore, Fox News is reporting that Kim Jong-Nam was allegedly stabbed by two unidentified women with "poisoned needles." They cite a cable TV broadcaster TV Chosun. Officials say he may've been targeted by North Korea.
The Washington Post asserts that the females allegedly fled the scene following the attack, possibly in a taxi. If not sensational, it would prove to be another startling familial moment of the Kim dynasty.
Kim Jong-Nam was the son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il.
These details come after the South Korean news agency Yonhap and other media outlets in the country first reported that Kim Jong-Nam had been assassinated, CBS notes.
The media cited unnamed South Korean officials in their accounts. The reliability of the agency’s report is still unknown.
In the past, Kim Jong-Un has allegedly executed senior advisory officials in an effort to more tightly seize power in the secretive and authoritarian state.
News emerged in 2013 that Kim’s uncle had been executed — on claims that he had tried to usurp Kim and overthrow the state, CBS News writes.
This came within just days after former Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission of North Korea, Jang Song-Thaek (who was married to Kim’s aunt Kim Kyong-Hui) was executed for corruption charges and what was called counter-revolutionary sympathies.
Kim Jong-Nam, who is said to have adored casinos and a lavish lifestyle, once spoke out against his younger brother ruling the nuclear country.
Officials said that Kim’s half-brother frequently spent time away from North Korea, and so he held little sway over the nation’s politics.
He was the oldest of three brothers, and was likened to almost a “playboy,” CBS notes.
The half-brother frequently spent time in China or its autonomous region on the western side of the Pearl River Delta, Macau, a hub of Las Vegas-like gambling.
CNN reports that Kim Jong-Nam was absent from his father’s funeral in 2011, at the time fueling rumors that he’d been banished from North Korea.
He also frequented five-star hotels and upscale restaurants.
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