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N Korea leader's half-brother murdered in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, February 14, 2017

The estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been murdered in Malaysia, a South Korean government source was quoted as saying.

Kim Jong Nam, the older half brother of the North Korean leader, was known to spend a significant amount of his time outside the country and had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of the isolated state, the Reuters report said.

In a statement, Malaysian police said the dead man, aged 46, held a passport under the name Kim Chol.

Kim Jong Nam has been caught in the past using forged travel documents.

Police official Fadzil Ahmat said the cause of Kim's death was not yet known, and a post mortem would be carried out on the body.

According to Fadzil, Kim had been planning to travel to Macau on Monday when he fell ill at the low-cost terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

"The deceased ... felt like someone grabbed or held his face from behind," Fadzil said. "He felt dizzy, so he asked for help at the ... counter of KLIA."

Kim was taken to an airport clinic where he still felt unwell, and it was decided to take him to hospital. He died in the ambulance on the way to Putrajaya Hospital, Fadzil added.

South Korea's TV Chosun, a cable-TV network, reported that Kim had been poisoned with a needle by two women believed to be North Korean operatives who fled in a taxi and were at large, citing multiple South Korean government sources.

Reuters could not confirm those details.




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