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Malaysia confirms death of Kim Jung-un's half-brother

Malaysia confirms death of Kim Jung-un's half-brother”

Sources said Tuesday the confirmation came after Malaysia reported that a North Korean man had died in Kuala Lumpur on Monday morning.

Kim Jong Nam, eldest son of then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, is surrounded by the media upon arrival from Macau at Beijing airport in 2007. The men deliberated on a response in a dining room at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, in full view of other diners.

Reports involving the secretive North Korean leadership often prove untrue or exaggerated.

Kim Jong Nam was believed to be close to his uncle, Joang Song Thaek.

The incident meant that Kim Jong-nam lost credibility and embarrassed his father - leading him to look for another heir and turning to Kim Jong-un.

According to Yoji Gomi, the author of My Father, Kim Jong Il, and Me who met with Mr Kim for interviews in Macau and Beijing several years ago, he said the half-brothers were kept apart because of an age-old history of raising potential leaders separately. But that reportedly changed after he was caught with a forged Dominican passport in 2001 as he was trying to sneak his way into Japan to attend Tokyo Disneyland.

It is widely speculated that Kim Jong Un felt threatened by his older brother, who had criticized the regime from afar.

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The man was seen struggling for help and sought assistance from airport staff, he said. Emails revealed in a 2012 book about Kim that he opposed North Korea's hereditary transfers of power and had doubts about his younger half-brother's ability to govern. Kim Jong-nam was once considered the favored successor to his father, Kim Jong-il.

Since that time, Kim Jong Nam had occasionally been sighted in sushi restaurants in Singapore and swanky hotel bars in Beijing, but has otherwise kept an extremely low profile.

In Malaysia, the police chief in charge of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Assistant Commissioner Abdul Aziz Ali, told AFP a Korean in his forties was found sick at the airport on Monday.

Kim had no official title and lived outside North Korea. His criticism had fueled speculation that China and certain generals in Pyongyang might be protecting him in case anything should go wrong with Kim Jong-un's rule.

Since taking power in late 2011, Kim Jong Un has executed or purged a slew of high-level government officials in what the South Korean government has described as a "reign of terror".

Kim Jong-nam's mother was a mistresses of Kim Jong-il, with her named smeared by the ambitious Kim Jong-il. Agents on behalf of the North Korean government have targeted defectors with poisoned needles in the past, although the details of Kim's death remain unknown. "Personally, I am against third-generation succession", he told Japan's Asahi TV in 2010.



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