North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s brother has been assassinated in Malaysia, South Korean media reports.
Kim Jong-nam was killed at Kuala Lumpur airport after being attacked by two women with “poisoned needles,” according to local TV reports.
The two women, believed to be North Korean agents, escaped in a taxi and remain at large, TV Chosun reported.
Yonhap News, citing a South Korean government source, also reported Mr Kim had been killed.
Malaysian police told Reuters an unidentified North Korean man died en route to hospital from a Kuala Lumpur airport.
The police said the man’s identity had not been verified.
An employee in the emergency ward of Putrajaya hospital told the agency a deceased Korean there was born in 1970 and surnamed Kim.
Mr Kim went into hiding in Malaysia after the execution in December 2013 of his uncle, Jang Song-thaek, the once-powerful uncle of the current leader.
He was known to spend a significant time outside the country and had spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic control of the isolated state
The eldest son of Kim Jong-il, he survived an assassination attempt in Macau in 2011.
Kim Jong-un’s wife disappears from public for seven months
Mr Kim was born from his father’s non-marital relationship with Sung Hae-rim, a South Korean-born actress who died in Moscow.
While he was widely seen as the hermit kingdom’s heir apparent, he fell out of favour after being detained while trying to enter Japan on a forged passport.
He told authorities he wanted to visit Disneyland with his family.
North and South Korea are yet to officially comment on the reports.
If confirmed, Mr Kim’s case would mark the most high-profile death under the Kim Jong-un regime since the execution of Jang Song-thaek.