Kim Jong Un's Half Brother Dead in Malaysia

Posted February 15, 2017

Kim Jong-nam, the older half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed in a Malaysian airport Monday after he was sprayed in the face with an unknown liquid, police said Tuesday.

Malaysian police told Reuters an unidentified North Korean man died en route to hospital from a Kuala Lumpur airport.

As the oldest son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong-nam was once meant to be his successor. He said the man held a North Korean passport but "we do not know his identity".

Acting South Korean President Hwang Kyo-ahn received a briefing from relevant security officials about the assassination, a government official said. Pyongyang-watchers have claimed Kim Jong-Un was attempting to get rid of his half-brother to bolster his own claim to the leadership of North Korea.

Kim Jong Nam was not necessarily a proponent of North Korea's dynastic succession.

Reuters also cited an unidentified USA government source saying that the US government strongly believes that North Korean agents murdered Kim. Meanwhile, a source in South Korea's government confirmed to the news outlet that the dead man was indeed Kim Jong Nam.

In 2001, Kim Jong-nam's name was all over the worldwide news because he was caught trying to enter Japan with a fake Dominican passport.

"Should the Kim Jong Un regime collapse it is Kim Jong Nam who could replace Kim Jong Un".

None of these sources could be immediately verified. He told the authorities they wanted to go to Tokyo Disneyland. Journalist Jean Lee, a global fellow at the Wilson Center, tells All Things Considered that "Kim Chol" is a very common name in North Korea.

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Both before and after the announcement, the usually reclusive Kim Jong Nam said in interviews with Japanese media that he was opposed to hereditary succession, something that not even Mao Zedong had done in China.

Kim Jong Nam spent large amounts of time outside North Korea.

Kim Jong Nam was the most public of all of Kim Jong Il's sons before Kim Jong Un took power, though most remember him for the scandalous headlines he made.

Kim Jong-Un has been trying to strengthen his grip on power in the face of growing global pressure over his country´s nuclear and missile programmes.

Officials in Seoul are yet to comment. His online media presence - with appearances on YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and the dating site Asiafind - became an occasional hot topic in South Korean and Japanese news media, TIME reported in 2012.

"He (Kim Jong Nam) is away, he is secure". Kim Hong Un reportedly ordered his execution.

Kim was his father's oldest son, born on 10 May 1971.

Interestingly, his half-brother, the current North Korea leader, was also educated in Switzerland but developed no such opinions.