Special to WorldTribune.com
Two Chinese bodyguards appointed by Beijing to protect the half-brother of North Korea’s dictator were mysteriously absent at the moment when he was accosted by two female agents in Kuala Lumpur on the day before Valentine’s Day.
Kim Jong-Nam was the oldest known son of the late dictator Kim Jong-Il and had long been groomed to be his successor. But in 2001, he was caught in a fake passport scandal in Japan, causing his father to lose confidence in him as the successor. His younger half-brother Kim Jong-Un replaced him and took power in late 2011 when Kim Jong-Il died.
Since then, Kim Jong-Un has tried to assassinate Kim Jong-Nam who has been under the protection of the Chinese government.
Kim has a wife living in Beijing and another wife in Chinese-controlled Macau. Kim was known to be close to Chinese communist leadership which may have made him a bargaining chip, or a possible replacement of Kim Jong-Un in Pyongyang.
Kim Jong-Un has developed a strong distaste for his half-brother’s connection in Beijing and anyone inside Pyongyang’s power circle who might be pro-China.
In late 2013, Kim suspected his uncle Jang Song-Thaek of colluding with China to do him in. He promptly executed Jang.