Brother Of Kim Jong Un Assassinated In Malaysia; US "Strongly Believes" North Korea Behind Murder

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: According to a U.S. government source speaking to Reuters, the U.S. strongly believes that North Korean agents murdered the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia. This, even though U.S. authorities have not yet determined exactly how Kim Jong Nam was killed, according to the source, who did not provide firm evidence to support the government's conclusion.

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Just two days after North Korea embarrassed both the US and Japan by test-firing a new, nuclear-capable ICBM with a 2000 mile range, with neither Trump nor Abe able to articulate a clear retaliation strategy, moments ago Yonhap news agency reported that the elder half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport.

Kim Jong Nam

Kim Jong Nam, 45, who had lived outside North Korea for years, was reported to have been killed by poison needle by two women who fled the scene by taxi, the reports said.

Police official Fadzil Ahmat said the cause of Kim's death was not yet known, and a post mortem would be carried out on the body. "So far there are no suspects, but we have started investigations and are looking at a few possibilities to get leads," Fadzil told Reuters.

According to Fadzil, Kim had been planning to travel to Macau on Monday when he fell ill at the low-cost terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). "The deceased ... felt like someone grabbed or held his face from behind," Fadzil said. "He felt dizzy, so he asked for help at the ... counter of KLIA."

Kim was taken to an airport clinic where he still felt unwell, and it was decided to take him to hospital. He died in the ambulance on the way to Putrajaya Hospital, Fadzil added.

He was once considered to be the heir to late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il but he fell out of favor with his father in 2001 after he was caught trying to enter Japan on a false passport, and was arrested at Tokyo airport, apparently en route to Disneyland. Kim Jong Nam had been critical of Kim Jong Un, reportedly saying in 2012 that he “won’t last long” because of his youth and inexperience. The two brothers have different mothers, Bloomberg reports. Kim Jong Nam did not attend his father's funeral in 2011.

Kim Jong Nam said several times over the years that he had no interest in leading his country. "Personally, I am against third-generation succession," he told Japan's Asahi TV in 2010. "I hope my younger brother will do his best for the sake of North Koreans' prosperous lives."

His cousin, Lee Han-young, who defected to South Korea through Switzerland in 1982, was shot and killed by North Korean agents in Seoul in 1997, according to South Korea. Kim Jong Nam's mother was an actress named Song Hye Rim.

"My father was keeping highly secret the fact that he was living with my mother who was married, a famous movie actress, so I couldn’t get out of the house or make friends," Kim Jong Nam was quoted as saying in a 2012 book by a Japanese journalist. "That solitude from childhood may have made me what I am now, preferring freedom."

According to Reuters, South Korea's foreign ministry said it could not confirm the reports, and the country's intelligence agency could not immediately be reached for comment.

"We don't know if there was a cloth or needles; the receptionist said someone grabbed his face, he felt dizzy," police official Fadzil said, when asked about the nature of the reported attack. Malaysia is one of a dwindling number of countries that has close relations with North Korea, which is under tightening global sanctions over its nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, the latest of which took place on Sunday.

So who may be behind the murder? As BBG adds, Kim has carried out a series of executions since taking power in 2011, the most high profile of which was the 2013 killing of his uncle and one-time deputy Jang Song Thaek. If Kim Jong Nam was killed by a North Korean spy, it indicates that Kim Jong Un felt a sense of paranoia about his own future and wanted to remove any potential successors, according to Namkoong Young, who has been teaching inter-Korean politics at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies for more than 25 years.

“Jong Nam has been in exile for years away from North’s politics for a long time but he is still the eldest son of Kim Jong Il,” Namkoong said. “And if there was any move or plan by some elite there to have him replace Jong Un, he probably should be removed.”

Of course, it is just as likely that a certain spy agency could have staged the murder, making it seem like it was preemptive retaliation by Un. For now there are no further details.

A person in the Malaysian prime minister’s office, who did not want to be named, confirmed that a North Korean national had been killed at the airport and taken to hospital. The person said police were still waiting for the autopsy report. South Korean officials have yet to comment publicly on the matter. Malaysia’s foreign ministry is still waiting for information from the police on the identity of the deceased man. The death is under the purview of the home affairs ministry, she said. The police didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

In 2014, Kim Jong Un had about 50 officials executed on charges ranging from graft to watching South Korean soap operas. Two senior officials were executed with an anti-aircraft gun in August last year on Kim’s orders, South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported, citing people it did not identify.

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wildbad's picture

..well the uncle got it with an anti-aircraft gun
and this one with weesau inyection

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) wildbad Feb 14, 2017 10:40 AM

I guess Nam was outed for watching those South Korean soap operas.  That appears to be a big No No, Nam.  Adios Amigo, as they say in the south!


Syrin's picture


Muh Raf's picture

According to an 'anonymous US government source' talking to (((Rothschild))) owned Reuters. Fake, fake, FAKE...

lexxus's picture
lexxus (not verified) Muh Raf Feb 14, 2017 2:52 PM

TRUMP's first assassination. Doesn't bode well for peace, especially since Trump clearly announced his war plans.

Troll Magnet's picture

Won't be easy to strike North Korea.  China (and Russia to an extent) won't allow it.


Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

If I've said it once, I've said it a million times. Whenever you run into two chicks with poison darts, it ain't gonna' go well for ya'.


"nuff said.

jeff montanye's picture

especially if one is from one part of a country and one from the other.  like north and south korea.  like israel and the occupied territories. rt reports that the president of israel now favors the one state solution: one person one vote, full israeli citizenship (we may have to give the conscientious objectors the benefit of the doubt, part of the reparations)

i am an ardent anti zionist and think this is a very good idea.  the two state solution is a non starter; it is opposed by israel at the highest levels.  however making all within the occupied areas (including gaza) israeli citizens will vastly improve their lives and make the knesset far less (mossad/likud) zionist.  in time it may make even greater changes to israel.  this is a profound improvement to the present situation and may even decrease the neocon pressure  and misbehavior in the u.s.


cbxer55's picture

That sounds like something Gomez would say.  ;-)

risk.averse's picture

Won't be easy to strike North Korea.  China (and Russia to an extent) won't allow it.

the Trumpster loves to deal. Here's a deal that even his enemies would applaud him for: Trump agrees to sanction China's claims over the disputed South China Sea islands. However, there's a catch: China has to cut North Korea loose or, perhaps, give "encouragement" to those in North Korean military who are itching to stage a coup. Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jong Sang-haek,, before he was executed in 2013 was thought to have been preparing for a takeover. Jong favored modern China-style economic reforms of basketcase North Korea.

Will such a deal happen? Japan won't be happy but they are shite-scared of a nuclear-armed North Korea. Maybe Trump's meeting with Abe last week discussed such options??

thomasntexas's picture

@ lexxus - The author of the piece your link goes to doesn't even understand how our electoral system works.  They posses no credibility.  

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


Update: According to a U.S. government source speaking to Reuters, the U.S. strongly believes that North Korean agents murdered the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia. This, even though U.S. authorities have not yet determined exactly how Kim Jong Nam was killed, according to the source, who did not provide firm evidence to support the government's conclusion.

Translation: more CIA wetwork.

beemasters's picture

Plus there is no reason for Kim Jong Un to assassinate his half brother in Malaysia. He had the absolute power to do it in North Korea if he wanted to.
It must have been done by some outside entity who had limited access in North Korea.

HowdyDoody's picture

Or a crude hint the Korean Haircut Dude. "We took out your brother in law. We will get you one day."

CaptainObvious's picture

Wasn't the assasination of this dude the plot of a Steve Berry novel regarding the illegality of the US income tax?  Except in the novel, his own daughter killed him.

Zen Xenu's picture

Nope. The Malaysian government is on good terms with Kim Jong Un, and gave him an award in 2013.

HELP University Malaysia has awarded an honorary doctorate in Economics to North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-Un.

This caused a bit of a stir in Malaysia in 2013. But the Malaysian Prime Minister has previously publicly praised the "bravery" of ISIS fighters, so this award to North Korea's dictator was not exactly surprising. (I live in Malaysia, btw.)

BorisTheBlade's picture

No, but seriously, the guy is exiled, literally brother from a different mother, spending his time probably being groomed as a potential replacement. Who would have a motive?

beijing expat's picture

Cui bono?

Who benefitS most is the prime suspect.

I don't see how NK benefits. He was not a threat.

Was it really a murder?

Did the two women drop their passports at the crime scene so everyone would know they were North Korean?

Why kill him in Malaysia at the airport under heavy security with lots of cameras and only one getaway route, a very long drive to the city.

Ghordius's picture

I remember when the current President Assad of Syria was an eye-doctor in the West

then, the Syrian Nation (well, you know, the leadership) called him to lead... because they wanted/needed "another Assad"

and... he looked like it wasn't a kind call that he could have refused without consequences

so no, he was a threat. yes, the near-totality of humans don't get born this way, but some few... are born into this kind of situation, and might get killed just because of their bloodline and... period

NidStyles's picture

You remember because you read it on here, or because you actually knew the guy?


He could have refused easily. That he accepted is what put him in this position, not that he was related to the other guy.

swmnguy's picture

Not in a hereditary monarchy.  If you're a potential heir to the throne, or could plausibly be positioned as such, your acceptance or refusal doesn't matter because that could possibly change.  It's whether or not you're alive that matters.  And now this guy is out of consideration for the Nork throne, the only way he could ever be considered to be totally out of the running.

So Close's picture

Launch some more missles dickhead.  Who said the Don coudn't be sublte.

bonderøven-farm ass's picture

Friends don't let friends fly United.


East Indian's picture

In dictatorships (and nowadays in many 'democracies' too), the ruler puts a lot of his relatives and friends in key posts. All their survival depends on one of the family taking over successfully. If Assad had refused, he would have lived to see half his next of kin killed, fleeing away or simply falling into poverty...


They dont have a choice, like Michael Corleone. They have to take over the mantle.

RedDwarf's picture

You are naive and ignorant.  ALL political power comes from the barrel of a gun.  You also don't understand that this also means internally.  Many 'kings' are in fact partially or totally puppets for an oligarchy and a set of internal rules even they dare not disobey.  So saying 'no' is not in fact an option unless you are willing to die and/or have friends and loved ones murdered in many of these circumstances.

One of the great horrrors of governments and religions and other state actors is that systems of threats and violence that are used to keep EVERYONE in line.

Yukon Cornholius's picture

That's why Modi of India is such a boss. He has nobody other than himself. That Austrian guy a few years back was similar.

East Indian's picture

Modi is a member of this organization; and it is rich and powerful.

SoDamnMad's picture

Are these 2 women booked on the next flight to Phoenix or DC.  McCain needs a shot of something in his stiff neck.

boattrash's picture

Reminds me of the plot of a teevee show called "Tyrant".

Déjà view's picture

Bashar had to fill elder brother, Bassel shoes after he died in an automobile accident....

Mossad job...

Ghordius's picture

nobody except the Autocrat, imo

and the logic of power dictates that the more power is concentrated into one pair of hands, the more it has to be defended at all costs

and so criticism can only be allowed as a function of how pluralistic a society is, and how much it is a functioning democracy with clear constitutional rules protecting minorities

ergo: you like Great Leaders? then shut the fuck up and do what you are told, and no criticism of the Great Leader

funny how many don't understand this little... snag of "Great Leadership". it's a committment, not a participation

NidStyles's picture

You just described what we call bad leadership, and preposed it as the only form of leadership.


Typical leftist, in your mind reality is what you say it is. In our mind's, reality is whatever the evidence tells us.


The west has more to gain from this guy's death than anything else. If you're going to eliminate the insane Kim family from leadership, this is how you start. By eliminating all of the loose branches of it first.

Ghordius's picture

I'll leave the good/bad to you

the definition of an Autocrat is that of a Leader... that can't be exchanged, particularly not peacefully, for example with the election of someone else

personally, yes, I don't see any kind of Leadership or Rule of Men that I like. I prefer the Rule of Law

if that makes me a "Leftist", then be it. but if you think that preferring a Great Leader to the point of preferring an Autocrat puts you on the Right in the sense of a moderate, constitutionalist Right... ah, come on. we both know, by now, what you really prefer, don't we?

"The West"... as well as potentially China, lost a potential puppet dictator. in both cases, a waste of... potential

nope. nobody goes after a dictatorship by "eliminating the insane family". you strike at the head, and exchange it with something else. it can be a brother of the Autocrat, it can be something completely different

Persia became Iran by the exchange of an Autocrat with a Theocracy, for example

swmnguy's picture

Or someone looking to discredit the Autocrat and make those around him, particularly those related to him, hesitate.

Ghordius's picture

and how can you discredit an Autocrat... this way?

further above is the reminder that this Autocrat had his Uncle (and General and Minister, if memory does not betray me) executed with a frigging huge gun meant for airplanes

more Fear... more Security for the Autocrat. Leadership... Undisputed Through Fear

BandGap's picture

This reminds me of books I have read about western leadership ~1910-1940.

One of the reasons Hitler rose to power was that many people really believed in single rule, and democracy was a farce. Some country's people pined for monarchy rule. Even in America during the early 30s (before the western aggression started) there were many in our military/government who believed Hitler was the solution for Germany as going the democratic route would never work in getting "greater Germany" out of it's depression. Hell, FDR won four consecutive terms. And it is certainly no coincidence that communism also took hold during the depression. There was a mighty struggle in England during the first world war between the government and communist centered unions which continued until WW2.

Very fertile ground for single during difficult times when people are splintered idealogically. 

Back to our regularly schedued program - I didn't think there was an uglier Kim Jung ______. This guy proved me wrong.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Ghordius Feb 14, 2017 10:43 AM

I like how the leaders in the EU can censor the news of migrant rape, muder etc. like it never happened. lol

Giant Meteor's picture

I never realized until just now that Cheech Marin was Kim Jong's brother. Small world!

mofreedom's picture

I cry crocodile tears for my most handsome brother.