The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was assassinated in Malaysia by two women wielding "poisoned needles," South Korean media reported Tuesday. The assassins are believed to be North Korean agents and they remain at large after escaping in a taxi, The Independent reports.
Kim Jong Un's half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, shares the same father as the North Korean leader: former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. Unlike Kim Jong Un, though, Kim Jong Nam's mother was a South Korean-born actress, with whom Kim Jong Il had a non-marital relationship.
Kim Jong Nam had been in hiding in Malaysia after his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was executed in 2013. Kim Jong Nam had already survived an assassination attempt in 2011, in Macau. He fell into trouble with Kim Jong Un in the early 2000s after being detained while trying to enter Japan on a forged passport. Kim Jong Nam told authorities at the time he was trying to enter the country for a trip to Tokyo Disneyland. Additionally, The Washington Post reports "analysts have long suspected that China was keeping Kim Jong Nam … in reserve as a potential successor to Kim Jong Un, who has had strained relations with the Chinese leadership." Jeva Lange