-The older half-brother of North Korea's Supreme Leader died Tuesday in a Malaysian airport under mysterious circumstances, South Korean and Malaysian news outlets reported, in what the United States government believes may have been a murder carried out by North Korean agents.
Malaysian police confirmed a North Korean man died at the Kuala Lumpur airport today, but say they are still investigating the man's identity. "The clinic staff, after assessing his condition, sought the assistance of the nearby Putrajaya Hospital", he told the New Straits Times.
A decade earlier, Kim Jong Nam was caught at Narita airport in Tokyo, trying to enter Japan with his wife and son on fake passports. He ultimately moved overseas, living in Macau and later Malaysia. South Korean television network Chosun-TV said two women attacked Kim Jong-nam with a poison needle. The suspects fled the scene and Malaysian police suspected North Korea was behind the killings. For now, Malaysian police classified it as a case of "sudden death" and are awaiting autopsy results to decide further action, a Malaysian police official told the Telegraph. Some analysts suggest that Kim Jong-il instead chose to groom Jong-un for succession after his 2008 stroke because he favored his younger son's mother, Ko Young-hee.
Since taking power in late 2011, Kim Jong Un has executed or purged a slew of high-level government officials in what the South Korean government has described as a "reign of terror".
"Without reforms, North Korea will collapse, and when such changes take place, the regime will collapse", he wrote, according to Japanese journalist Yoji Gomi.
North Korea has faced a groundswell of worldwide condemnation this week after it test-fired an intermediate-range missile despite U.N. Security Council resolutions aimed at stopping its nuclear weapons program.
Image copyright AFP Image caption Myanmar cut diplomatic ties with North Korea in 1983 but resumed them in 2007.
Kim Jong-Nam, who is said to have adored casinos and a lavish lifestyle, once spoke out against his younger brother ruling the nuclear country. Kim Jong-nam died in an ambulance on his way to a hospital.
Interestingly, his half-brother, the current North Korea leader, was also educated in Switzerland but developed no such opinions. USA government sources have also told Reuters that they believe Jong-nam was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur and blame North Korea. That's when Kim Jong-il began grooming another one of his four known sons, Kim Jong-un, to take the throne.