Former North Korean heir-apparent assassinated

The eldest son of long-time dictator Kim Jong-il was reportedly assassinated by two female Pyongyang operatives with poisoned needles

Former North Korean heir-apparent assassinated

North Korean students and performers create the shape of the North Korean flag during the Arirang Grand Mass gymnastics and Artistic performance at the May day stadium in Pyongyang | Image: ELIZABETH DALZIEL / AP/Press Association Images

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has reportedly been assassinated in Malaysia.

Kim Jong-Nam is believed to have been poisoned by two female Pyongyang operatives at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday morning.

South Korean broadcaster, TV Chosun has reported that the women used poisoned needles to kill the 45-year-old.

Citing Seoul government sources, the report said the suspects immediately fled the scene in a taxi.

The airport's police chief, Assistant Commissioner Abdul Aziz Ali, told the AFP news agency that a Korean in his 40s was found ill at the airport and died on his way to hospital.

"We do not have any other details of this Korean man. We do not know his identity," he said.

Officials in Seoul are yet to comment.

Kim Jong-Nam was once believed to be the heir apparent to long-standing North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.

He was reportedly overlooked for the succession following a botched attempt to enter Japan on a forged passport in May 2001 - when he claimed he wanted to visit Disney's Tokyo resort.

The incident embarrassed his father and his half-brother Kim Jong-Un took the reins in December 2011.