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S. Korea confirms Kim Jong-un’s half brother murdered

Update: February, 15/2017 - 10:00
A file photo of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. — EPA/YONHAP/VNA Photo
Viet Nam News
SEOUL — South Korea confirmed Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother has been murdered in Malaysia, confirming reports of his assassination at Kuala Lumpur’s airport.
 
"Our government is certain that the murdered man is Kim Jong-nam," said Chung Joon-hee, a spokesman for Seoul’s unification ministry that handles inter-Korea affairs.
 
Two women are believed to have used some kind of poison for the Cold War-style killing, with reports from Malaysia and South Korea suggesting Kim Jong-nam had been stabbed with poison-tipped needles or had chemicals sprayed in his face.
 
"He told the receptionist at the departure hall that someone had grabbed his face from behind and splashed some liquid on him," Selangor state’s criminal investigation chief Fadzil Ahmat was reported as saying by Malaysia’s The Star newspaper.
 
"He asked for help and was immediately sent to the airport’s clinic. At this point, he was experiencing headache and was on the verge of passing out," said Fadzil.
 
"At the clinic, the victim experienced a mild seizure. He was put into an ambulance and was being taken to the Putrajaya Hospital when he was pronounced dead," he said.
 
South Korean reports had earlier suggested the two female assassins had used poison-tipped needles during the killing, before fleeing in a taxi.
 
Kim had at one time been set to assume the leadership of his isolated country, but fell out of favour after an embarrassing attempt to get into Japan on a fake passport in 2001.
 
He has since lived in exile, mostly in the gambling haven of Macau, but he has also been spotted in other Asian countries and there have been reports of his playboy lifestyle.
 
Kim, 45, is believed to have been in Malaysia on a passport bearing the name Kim Chol, a known alias, according to South Korean media.
 
Kim’s killing is thought to be the highest-profile death under the Jong-un regime since the execution of the leader’s uncle, Jang Song-Thaek, in December 2013. — AFP

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