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The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was assassinated Monday in Malaysia, according to South Korean government sources.
VOA contacted South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, which neither confirmed nor denied the death of Kim Jong Nam.
South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Kim Jong Nam was killed by two unidentified North Korean female agents who used poisoned needles at Kuala Lumpur International Airport before hailing a cab and fleeing the scene.
District police chief Abdul Aziz Ali, who is leading the investigation, told VOA the man was waiting for a flight at the airport when he became ill and was sent to a hospital.
“Upon arrival at the hospital, the doctor found that he was already dead,” Ali said.
Aziz declined to disclose the name and age of the deceased, citing an ongoing investigation.
Until laboratory tests are completed, the cause of death remains uncertain, Ali said. “We do not know for sure.”
The police chief said no one has been apprehended in connection with the death.
Kim Jong Nam was once considered the heir apparent to lead North Korea, but he fell out of favor with his father Kim Jong Il after a failed 2001 attempt to enter Japan on a forged passport to visit Disneyland.
Since then, Kim Jong Nam has lived in virtual exile, primarily in the Chinese territory of Macau.
Kim Jong Un assumed leadership of North Korea when his father died in 2011.