by WorldTribune Staff, February 14, 2017
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s half-brother has been killed in Malaysia, reports said.
Kim Jong-Nam was killed on Feb. 13, allegedly by poisoning, the Yonhap News Agency and other South Korean media outlets reported on Feb. 14, citing unidentified sources.
As the first-born son of dictator Kim Jong-Il, Kim Jong-Nam was widely regarded as the heir apparent, in accordance with Confucian tradition.
TV Chosun, a cable television network, said separately that Kim, 45, was poisoned at Kuala Lumpur airport by two women believed to be North Korean operatives. The women were at large after the incident, the report said, citing multiple South Korean government sources.
Malaysian police told Reuters an unidentified North Korean man died en route to hospital from a Kuala Lumpur airport. The police said the man’s identity had not been verified.
Kim Jong-Nam was born in Pyongyang in May 1971, the oldest son of Kim Jong-Il who would go on to rule North Korea from October 1997 until December 2011.
He initially tried to keep his son’s existence secret from his own father, Kim Il-Sung, who disapproved of his relationship with Jong-Nam’s mother, an actress.
Kim Jong-Nam, who was forced into exile before the death of Kim Jong-Il, reportedly went into hiding to evade his ruling half-brother, Kim Jong-Un, who feared that he still posed a threat.