KUALA LUMPUR — February 14, 2017: Police have identified the North Korean man who mysteriously died after seeking medical assistance at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 yesterday as one Kim Chol.
In a statement to Bernama tonight, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the 46-year-old man who died en route to a hospital was identified based on his travel document.
He was said to have been born in Pyongyang on June 10, 1970.
“The investigation is in progress and a post-mortem examination request has been made to ascertain the cause of death,” said Khalid.
A report by Reuters identified the deceased North Korean man as the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The report, quoting a South Korean government source, said the man has been murdered.
Kim Jong Nam, the older half brother of the North Korean leader, was known to spend a significant amount of his time outside the country and had spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic control of the isolated state.
Jong Nam had been caught in the past using forged travel documents.
The Reuters report also quoted police officer Fadzil Ahmat as saying the cause of Jong Nam’s death was not yet known, and a post mortem would be carried out.
According to Fadzil, Jong Nam had been planning to travel to Macau on Monday when he fell ill at the low-cost terminal of 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.”
Jong Nam was taken to an airport clinic where he still felt unwell, and it was then decided to take him to hospital. He died in the ambulance on the way to Putrajaya Hospital, said Fadzil.
South Korea’s TV Chosun, a cable-TV network, reported that Jong Nam had been poisoned with a needle by two women believed to be North Korean operatives who fled in a taxi and were at large, citing multiple South Korean government sources.
Reuters could not confirm those details. — Agencies