Yesterday (Tuesday, 14th February), several South Korean media outlets reported that the half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un was found dead in Kuala Lumpur.
And now, Malaysian police have confirmed that the man assassinated at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) was indeed Kim Jong Nam.
After explaining that the incident happened at around 9am on Monday (13th February) as the victim was catching a 10am flight to Macau, Selangor CID chief Senior Asst Comm Fadzil Ahmat continued:
“He told the receptionist at the departure hall that someone had grabbed him from behind and splashed a liquid on his face. He asked for help…and was immediately sent to the airport’s clinic. At this point, he was experiencing a headache and on the verge of passing out.”
Kim Jong Nam, who had not gone through immigration yet, then experienced a mild seizure at the clinic and was rushed to Putrajaya Hospital. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it.
Kim Jong Nam is believed to have been in the country since 6th February, and police have began investigating the case by retracing the victim’s movement and tracking down those he has met.
The 45-year-old man also travelled under the name Kim Chol with the passport number 836410070. His biodata in the passport stated that he was born in Pyongyang on 10th June 1970.
They have also received a request for the body from the North Korean embassy, but will perform a post-mortem on Wednesday before releasing it.
Kim Jong Nam and Kim Jong Un both had the same father, but had different mothers. The former was also close to his uncle and mentor, Jang Song Thaek, who was North Korea’s 2nd most powerful man before being executed in 2013 by Kim Jong Un.
The elder Kim has also openly denounce hereditary succession in many of his interviews, but has presumed that “there were internal reasons (and) we should abide by such reasons if there are any”.
Despite Kim Jong Nam’s many protest stating that he has no interest in leading the country, many still believed that he was killed by his half-brother as he felt threatened.
In 2015, several media reports also surfaced, saying that North Korean spies attempted to murder Kim Jong Nam in Macau in 2011. A shootout with his bodyguards ensued, but the North Korean managed to escape.
In recent years, he has occasionally been sighted in sushi restaurants in Singapore and swanky hotel bars in Beijing, but otherwise has kept a low profile. He is also believed to have had homes and families in the aforementioned countries.
Kim Jong Nam has also reportedly left behind 2 wives, at least one mistress, and several children.