Assassinated North Korean lived quiet, but open life in Macau

The story was originally reported by South Korea's TV Chosun, which said the incident took place at 9am on Monday and that Kim was murdered with "poisoned needles". They show a woman in a skirt and long-sleeved white T-shirt with "LOL" on the front.

On Wednesday, Malaysian police arrested a first suspect who had a Vietnamese travel document in the name Doan Thi Huong (29), inspector general of police Abu Bakar told Bernama.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's brother has been assassinated in Malaysia.

Born from his father's relationship with the actress Sung Hae-rim, Jong-nam was a computer enthusiast, a fluent Japanese speaker and a student in both Russian Federation and Switzerland.

Investigators are trying to shed light on a death that set off set off waves of speculation over whether North Korea dispatched a hit squad to kill a man known for his drinking, gambling and complicated family life.

According to North Korea's KCNA news agency, Kim Jong-un attended the launch of the Pukguksong-2, a new type of strategic weapon capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Kim Jong Nam says the half-brothers were kept apart, following an ancient history of raising potential successors separately.

The eldest son of Kim Jong-il, he survived an assassination attempt in Macau in 2011. The death is under the purview of the home affairs ministry, she said.

While on his way to hospital, Kim told medical workers that he'd been sprayed with a chemical, which brings to mind past attacks with poison-tipped pens linked to North Korean assassins.

Jong-nam had been described as a "playboy heir-apparent" and reportedly had mistresses in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

An autopsy will also on Wednesday be performed on the body of Kim Jong-nam, police said.

According to Malaysian daily Berita Harian, Malaysian police say a woman approached Kim at a departure lounge at 8am, where he was to board a flight to Macau, and covered his head with a cloth soaked in an unidentified liquid that stung his eyes. Two senior officials were executed with an anti-aircraft gun in August past year on Kim's orders, South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported, citing people it did not identify.

Sung Hae Rang, Jong Nam's aunt, helped raise him along with her own children - a son and a daughter - before defecting in 1982.

"I'm his half brother, but I've never met him so I don't know", Kim Jong Nam said in another note to Gomi.

Multiple South Korean media reports said he was killed at the airport by two women believed to be North Korean agents. "We are well aware that the only way to escape is suicide", Kim Jong-nam said in the letter to Kim Jong-un, one of the officials said. This has included Kim Jong-nam's uncle Jang Song Thaek, once North Korea's second-most powerful man, for what Pyongyang said was treason.

The oldest of three brothers who were then in the running to take over secretive North Korea, Kim Jong-Nam was the closest thing the country had to a playboy.

  • Larry Hoffman