Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un, has reportedly died in Malaysia at the age of 45. Reports from South Korean media outlet TV Chosun allege that Kim was attacked by two unidentified women with "poisoned needles" at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday, according to the Guardian. Those reports have not been verified.
Kim Jong-nam had stated multiple times that he wasn't interested in leading his country, telling Asahi TV in 2010 he was against third-generation succession. "I hope my younger brother will do his best for the sake of North Koreans' prosperous lives," he said at the time. Kim reportedly spent the past 15 years between China and Macau. His late mother, Sung Hae-rim, was a South Korean-born actor and was never married to Kim Jong-il. She died in 2002.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency claims Malaysian police believe North Korea was responsible for the alleged attack, though foreign ministry officials have not confirmed these reports. A Putrajaya hospital worker confirmed a "deceased Korean" with the surname Kim had been received, with the Guardian noting that Sepang district police chief Abdul Aziz Ali had not verified the man's identity.
Once considered the heir to Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-nam' s reputation among the government was reportedly ruined when he was caught trying to go to Tokyo Disneyland using a fake visa in 2001. He was detained until May 4 and then deported to China, the New York Times reported. Kim Jong-nam was, according to GQ, the only Kim family member to speak with foreign media.