Kim Jong Un's Half-Brother's Death Is A Mystery

by Lani Seelinger
Cancan Chu/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Need a break from the wild American news cycle? Enter North Korea, one of the world's most secretive countries and now the focus of international attention following the death of the dictator's half-brother. So what's happening in North Korea surrounding Kim Jong Un's half brother Kim Jong Nam? Well, that's still unclear. But one thing's for sure — there are a whole lot of people suspected of involvement, as well as a whole lot of intrigue.

The only thing that's for sure is that Kim died in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after being ambushed by two women, who ran up to him and sprayed an unidentified liquid into his face. This much is recorded on CCTV, along with Kim's subsequent walk over to talk to airport security personnel, who escorted him to the airport medical clinic. An ambulance then came to bring him to the hospital, but he died on the way there.

Now, if you're North Korea, even some of that is disputable. The closest thing to a Stalinist state left on the planet has refused to take part in the investigation, not even to help identify the identity of the victim. The Malaysian government was able to carry out an autopsy, however, which helped them to confirm that the man was in fact Kim.

You might think that the first place to turn for answers would be the two women who accosted Kim in the airport, but even that path has its twists and turns. The women, one Vietnamese and one Indonesian, claim that they were tricked into taking part in the attack when someone told them that it was part of a comedy prank show. The story, as you can see, keeps getting more interesting. Malaysian police, on the other hand, have ruled out that explanation, saying that it was clear that the women allegedly knew they were dealing with a toxic substance.

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While everything is still surrounded in confusion, the half-brothers were not of the same mindset all of the time. Kim Jong Nam had criticized his half brother and the North Korean regime, although it's likely that the two had never even met.

So — where do things go from here? Well, it looks as though Malaysia will press forward with the investigation, even without North Korea's approval. Perhaps they'll uncover the truth — or perhaps they'll just keep building up the plot line of an eventual true-crime spy thriller.