Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, has reportedly been killed at an Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia by "poison needle-wielding" North Korean agents, according to South Korean media.
Yonhap News Agency, a government source and other South Korean media outlets reported that Kim Jong-nam had been killed, while TV Chosun, a cable television network, added that he had been poisoned by two women believed to be North Korean operatives, who were at large and escaped in a taxi.
Police in Malaysia told Reuters that an unidentified North Korean man had died en route to hospital from Kuala Lumpur airport on Monday.
Kim Jong-nam was once considered the heir apparent to Kim Jong-il – he was his eldest son, born of an extra-marital affair with a South Korean-born actress, but fell out of favour in 2001 after being arrested at Tokyo's Narita Airport after trying to enter Japan on a forged Dominican Republic passport.
He told police that he had wanted to visit Disneyland with his family.
It’s not the first time someone has tried to take him down – he survived an assassination attempt in 2011 in Macau, Hong Kong, where he was living at the time.
As for who done it? There is speculation that the hit was ordered by leader Kim Jong-un, who kept his half-brother in his cabinet reportedly to keep his enemies close. Whether Kim Jong-nam had become a threat to the Kim Jong-un’s leadership or had betrayed him is unknown, but it comes at a tumultuous time in the regime.
The chief of North Korea’s powerful secret police, long considered the right-hand man for the top leader, Kim Jong-un, was recently dismissed on charges of corruption and abuse of power, according to the South Korean government.
And it wouldn’t be the first time the North Korean ruler has killed his own family. In 2014, he murdered his uncle via firing squad for treachery and then proceeded to kill his uncle’s grieving family.
South Korea’s National Intelligence Service and its Unification Ministry said they could not immediately confirm the reports.
Hug your siblings and be eternally grateful they’re not Kim Jong-un.