Brother of Kim Jong-un killed in Malaysia

By Lindsey DeLorie, International News Writer

On Monday February 13th, Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, was killed. Kim Jong-nam was reportedly attacked in a Malaysian airport while waiting for a flight to Macau, China. There are multiples reports as to how the attack occurred in the airport. The reports are all a variation of a woman running up to Kim Jong-nam and covering his face with a cloth laced with chemicals.

There are other reports that state he was sprayed with some substance or that a liquid was thrown at his face. Kim Jong-nam suffered serious burns on his eyes and died on the way to a hospital in Putrajaya.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding his death Malaysian police were unsure of where to begin their investigation. “So far there are no suspects, but we have started investigations and are looking at a few possibilities to get leads,” Fadzil Ahmat, a Malaysian police officer, stated according to Reuters.

The Malaysian police initially reported the death of an unknown Korean National, they then stated the death of Kim Chol, the name on the papers Kim Jong-nam was traveling with.  It was not until Tuesday when Kim Jong-nam’s death was finally reported by officials in South Korea.

Kim Jong-nam had traveled under false identities in the past. Most notably when he was caught illegally trying to enter Japan in 2001. There is speculation this scandal is what caused him to be overlooked in favor of his youngest half-brother, Kim Jong-un, to be his father’s successor in 2011.

It is believed Kim Jong-nam was flying to Macau, China in order to gamble. He spent most of his adult life outside of North Korea trying to keep a low profile in China and Singapore.

There is further speculation that this was an assassination. There have been reports of previous attempts on Kim Jong-nam’s life as well as information regarding North Korea’s history with secret agents and unconfirmed attacks and kidnappings.

Kim Jong-nam published a book in 2012 where he is quoted stating less than favorable comments on his family and their control of North Korea.

He also stated he did not believe Kim Jong-un, his youngest half-brother had the right leadership qualities to be the president of North Korea.

There are currently two female suspects in custody in Malaysia and King Jong-nam’s autopsy has been completed, but further information has not yet been released to the public.                 

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, February 21st print edition.

Contact Lindsey at


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