Kim Jong Nam killed before boarding flight to Macau

In this May 4, 2001, photo, a man believed to be Kim Jong Nam, right, the eldest son of then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, walks out of a police van to board a plane to Beijing at Narita international airport in Narita, northeast of Tokyo. Malaysian officials say a North Korean man has died after suddenly becoming ill at Kuala Lumpur's airport. The district police chief said Tuesday Feb. 14, 2017 he could not confirm South Korean media reports that the man was Kim Jong Nam, the older brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Kyodo News via AP)

Police are checking surveillance tapes for clues about who may have assassinated the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an airport in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, a senior official said. 

An autopsy will also be performed on the body of Kim Jong Nam, police said. Kim, 46, was targeted Monday in the shopping concourse at the airport and had not gone through immigration yet for his flight to Macau, said a senior government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case involves sensitive diplomacy.

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Police in Malaysia said the man was at Kuala Lumpur Internationa Airport at 8:00 am to take a flight to Macau in China scheduled at 9am on Monday. “While waiting for the flight, a woman came from behind and covered his face with a cloth laced with a liquid,” Selangor CID chief SAC Fadzil Ahmat, said, Malaysia’s state news agency Bernama reported.

Kim, who died on the way to a hospital, told medical workers before he died that he had been attacked with a chemical spray, the official said.

Selangor police chief Abdul Samah Mat said police were searching for clues in the CCTV footage. The airport is in Selangor near Kuala Lumpur.

Kim Jong Nam was estranged from his younger brother, the North Korean leader. Although he had been tipped by some outsiders as a possible successor to his dictator father, others thought that was unlikely because he lived outside the country, including recently in Macau, Singapore and Malaysia.

He reportedly fell further out of favor when he was caught trying to enter Japan on a false passport in 2001, saying he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

Multiple South Korean media reports, citing unidentified sources, said Kim Jong Nam was killed at the airport by two women believed to be North Korean agents. They fled in a taxi and were being sought by Malaysian police, the reports said.

-AP/The Standard

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