North Korean man dies after becoming ill at Malaysia airport

Hospital security personnel block the entrance of the Forensic department at the hospital, in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017. Malaysian police says a unidentified North Korean man died en route to hospital from a Kuala Lumpur airport. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A North Korean man died after suddenly becoming ill at a Malaysian airport, officials said Tuesday.

District police chief Abdul Aziz Ali said 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.

He said the man was waiting for a flight to Macau at the Kuala Lumpur airport on Monday when he fell ill and died en route to a hospital.

Multiple South Korean media reports, citing unnamed sources, said Kim Jong Nam was assassinated at the airport by two women. TV Chosun, citing unidentified “multiple government sources,” said the women were believed to be North Korean agents and used poison needles to kill Kim. It said they fled in a taxi and were being sought by Malaysian police.

Kim Jong Nam reportedly fell out of favor in North Korea after being caught trying to enter Japan on a false passport in 2001, saying he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland. He is believed to be in his mid-40s and has been living in recent years in Macau.

A member of the staff at the emergency ward of Putrajaya Hospital said the deceased North Korean was born in 1970 and was known only as Kim. The staff person, who wasn’t authorized to talk to the media and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the man’s body was now in the forensic department for a post-mortem examination.

 

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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