The estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was murdered Tuesday in Malaysia by two women who reportedly used poisoned needles to kill him before fleeing in a taxi, according to South Korea’s TV Chosun.
Reuters has since cautioned, however, that it has been unable to confirm the exact details. What is known is that the dictator’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, had been waiting for a flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport when “someone grabbed or held his face from behind,” according to Malaysian police official Fadzil Ahmat.
“We don’t know if there was a cloth or needles. The receptionist said someone grabbed his face, he felt dizzy,” Ahmat noted. “So far, there are no suspects, but we have started investigations and are looking at a few possibilities to get leads.”
The victim was taken to an airport clinic, where he reported still feeling unwell. It was later decided to transport him to a nearby hospital, but he died while en route in the ambulance.
What remained to be determined was whether his half-brother had had anything to do with what appeared to be the murder. Some would argue that there was plenty of motivation.
The BBC noted that Kim Jong Nam was quoted in a 2012 book saying that he believed Kim Jong Un lacked leadership skills and that his succession to their late father’s position as North Korea’s supreme leader would ultimately fail.