The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was assassinated on Monday at an airport in Kuala Lumpur. The US government believes that North Korean agents could have murdered him.
The Malaysian authorities also say that before he died, Kim Jong Nam told medical workers that he was attacked with a chemical spray. According to the South Korean media, the 46-year-old was poisoned by two female North Korean assassins.
The women fled the scene in a taxi. The authorities in Malaysia are now looking for these suspects. According to police official Fadzil Ahmat, Kim Jong Nam felt that someone grabbed or held his face from behind, the ABC states. Apparently, he felt dizzy and asked for help at a counter in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
He was taken to the airport’s clinic. However, he died on the way to the hospital. Although the Malaysian authorities are still investigating and looking for possible suspects, the US government says that Kim Jong Nam was killed using a type of poison pen device, Reuters reports. The women might have used poison needle, reports say.
The Malaysian police that the man’s passport reveals that Kim Jong Nam used the name Kim Chol. He was born in Pyongyang on June 10, 1970. His father was the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, who passed away on 2011. He is the same father of the current North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.
Kim Jong Nam is older than Kim Jong Un. When their father died, he did not attend the funeral. They have different mothers. Kim Jong Nam’s mother was an actress named Song Hye Rim. Accordingly, this relationship was kept in secret.
Kim Jong Nam is also believed to have been close to his uncle, Jang Song Thaek. His uncle used to be the second most powerful man in North Korea but Kim Jong Un ordered his execution on 2013.
According to Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, many believe that Kim Jong Nam could one day replace his younger brother. However, Kim Jong Un’s loyalists wanted to get rid of him.
In spite of this, Kim Jong Nam has said repeatedly that he has no interest in replacing his brother or leading North Korea. Unlike his younger brother, he believes that third-generation succession would not benefit North Korea.
“Personally, I am against third-generation succession. I hope my younger brother will do his best for the sake of North Koreans’ prosperous lives,” Kim Jong Nam told a Japanese TV show, Asahi, during an interview in 2010.