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Kim Jong-un's half-brother 'assassinated with poisoned needles at airport'

Kim Jong-un's half-brother 'assassinated with poisoned needles at airport'

U.S. intelligence officials corroborated the report that the half brother, Kim Jong Nam, 45, had been killed by female assassins at the global airport in Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital, where he apparently had been awaiting a flight to Macau.

His death was made public only on Tuesday. In 2012, a jailed North Korean spy in South Korea admitted to trying to organize a hit-and-run "accident" against the king's half brother.

TV Chosun, citing unidentified "multiple government sources", said the women were believed to be North Korean agents and used poison needles to kill Kim.

North Korea is now locked in showdowns with the West and its allies over its nuclear program and ballistic missile tests, but faces possible strains with its key patron China.

He was deported to China and estranged from his family.

Kim Jong-Nam had been living in exile in Macau, Singapore and China since he allegedly tried to visit visited Tokyo Disney in 2001.

Mr Kim, the supreme leader's half-brother who is the eldest son of Kim Jong-il, has spent far less time in the limelight than his younger brother who he is believed to have never met. Until recently, he had sometimes been seen in Macau. Kim Hong Un reportedly ordered his execution. "But I think there were internal factors behind the decision, and if this is the case, then we should follow that", he said. "So, once he decides, we have to support".

"Kim Jong-un is ruthless and this was a man very senior, had his own power networks, and had helped Kim Jong-un's rise to power as a sort of mentor".

In Pyongyang, celebrations had begun for Thursday's anniversary of the birth of Kim Jong-Il, Jong-Nam's father, with no mention of the killing.

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The report calls for the UNSC to refer Pyongyang's "crimes against humanity" to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Officials in Seoul and Kuala Lumpur could not confirm the death of Kim Jong-Nam, once seen as heir apparent in the North. "Certainly the North Koreans had plenty of motives".

If proven to masterminded by North Korea, Kim Jong-Nam's murder follows a long and bloodied history of Pyonyang-ordered assassinations.

The South's government said it would "thoroughly check" the North's current situation and "seek for thorough measures" in considering every possibility including a North Korean provocation at the NSC meeting.

"According to Japanese reporter Yoji Gomi, who wrote a book about him in 2012". "He was originally going to succeed Kim Jong Il". His mother, Ko, who died in 2004, was born in Japan. Last year, Kuala Lumpur hosted secret talks between top North Korean officials and former United States diplomats, the only remaining communication channel between the two sides.

The North Korean leader has carried out a series of purges since assuming power five years ago which the South Korean government has described as a "reign of terror".

One of the factors motivating Jong-nam's assassination, thus, could have been an expectation that he could be enticed to defect to South Korea.

"Kim Jong-nam was involved in some murky dealings in Southeast Asia raising money for the family", he theorised.

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