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(LEAD) Spy agency confirms murder of N.K. leader's half brother

2017/02/15 11:58

By Kang Yoon-seung

SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- The chief of South Korea's spy agency on Wednesday confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half brother was murdered with poison in Malaysia.

National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director Lee Byung-ho also told lawmakers that for the past five years Pyongyang has been attempting to assassinate Kim Jong-nam, who was under the protection of the Chinese government.

Sources earlier said Kim, 46, was killed on Monday at an airport in Malaysia after being attacked by two unidentified women.

During a meeting with the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee, Lee confirmed that Kim was killed with poison, although it still needs to find out whether a needle or shots were used.

The agency said it noticed the incident four hours after it took place.

The NIS said Kim Jong-nam's family, including his son Kim Han-sol is currently staying in Macao.

Kim Han-sol came into the spotlight in 2012 after being interviewed by a Finnish television station. He said he hopes for the unification of the two divided Koreas and wants to improve the livelihoods in the impoverished country now controlled by his young uncle.