Malaysian police announced on Tuesday that North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un’s brother, Kim Jong Nam, died at the Kuala Lumpur airport from what they believe was an assassination carried out by North Korean agents.
The Malaysian Criminal Investigation Department Director, Mohman Sallah, confirmed to local news outlets that Kim Jong Nam collapsed on Monday while at a counter at the airport before he was set to board a flight. South Korean media is reporting that two women suspected of being North Korean agents jabbed Kim Jong Nam with poisoned needles. The women reportedly fled the scene in a cab and are still at large.
The 46-year-old is the oldest son of the former dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Il, who died in 2011 and subsequently resulted in Kim Jong Un taking over as leader. Kim Jong Nam was reportedly the original heir to the rule of North Korea, but had a falling out with his father and moved to Macau.
Kim Jong Nam told Japanese Newspaper Tokyo Shimbun that he and his father had a falling out due to his wanting to reform the communist nation.
“After I went back to North Korea following my education in Switzerland, I grew further apart from my father because I insisted on reform and market-opening and was eventually viewed with suspicion,” he said.
In 2010 he told JApan’s Asahi TV that he had no interest in being the heir to North Korea’s rule as he was opposed to multi-generation succession.
“Personally, I am against third-generation succession,” he said. “I hope my younger brother will do his best for the sake of North Koreans’ prosperous lives.”
Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was executed in 2013 after being accused of opposing the regime and was taken out as part of a purge. In his New Year address that year, Kim Jong Un called the execution of his uncle the removal of “factionalism filth.” According to reports, Jang Song Thaek was killed after he was stripped naked and fed to 120 dogs.