KUALA LUMPUR - The estranged half-brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un has died in Malaysia.
According to report, quoted a Malaysia official as saying that an unidentified North Korean man, believed to be Kim Jong-nam, had died while being rushed to hospital from the airport on Monday (14/2).
Abdul Aziz Ali, police chief for the Sepang district, said the man’s identity had not been verified. An employee in the emergency ward of Putrajaya hospital confirmed it had received a deceased Korean who was born in 1970 with the surname Kim.
South Korean media reports claimed Kim was poisoned by two female North Korean operatives in at Kuala Lumpur international airport on Monday. The South Korean cable broadcaster TV Chosun said the elder Kim, who has reportedly never met North Korea’s current leader, was attacked by the two unidentified women with “poisoned needles”. The Guardian has not been able to verify the reports.
Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, does not hold an official title and has played no part in running North Korea, but just weeks into his younger half-brother’s rule, he described the regime as “a joke to the outside world” and said that he opposed the hereditary transfer of power in the country.
Those comments appeared in a book by Yoji Gomi, a journalist with the Japanese newspaper the Tokyo Shimbun, who said he had exchanged emails with Kim Jong-nam over seven years.
The suspects reportedly fled the scene in a taxi, but Malaysian law enforcement officials believe that North Korea was behind the attack, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency added.
South Korea’s foreign ministry said it could not confirm the reports, and the country’s intelligence agency could not immediately be reached for comment.