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Gallery: Kim Jong Nam, A Life in Pictures

Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was killed by two women who stabbed the 45-year-old with poisoned needles and fled in a taxi at about 9 a.m. on Monday, according to South Korean cable television network TV Chosun. Kim Jong Nam sought help from departure hall staff at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia after someone "grabbed him from behind and splashed liquid on his face,” according to The Star, a Malaysian newspaper.

This photo gallery looks back at Kim Jong Nam's life. (Visual China)

1

A TV screen shows a news report about the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam.

2

Kim Jong Nam appears in an undated photo with his father, Kim Jong Il, the previous leader of North Korea. The elder Kim, who died in 2011, had Kim Jong Nam, his oldest son, with his second wife, Song Hye Rim. Kim Jong Il had his two other sons, Kim Jong Chol and Kim Jong Un, with third wife, Ko Yong Hui.

3

Kim Jong Nam’s parents, who were not married when he was born, were forced to conceal his birth from King Jong Nam’s grandfather, Kim Il Sung, according to the memoirs of Kim Jong Nam’s maternal aunt, Song Hye Rang. As such, Kim Jong Nam had an isolated childhood and could not go to school or see a doctor using his real name until Kim Il Sung’s death in 1994.

4

Kim Jong Nam spent much of his adolescence and youth outside North Korea, first in what was then the Soviet Union, then in Switzerland, Japan and Russia, becoming fluent in French and English before returning to his native country in the late 1980s. In 1998, Kim Jong Nam was appointed to a senior position in the Ministry of Public Security. He was also reported to have been appointed head of the country’s Computer Committee, in charge of developing an information technology industry.

5

Kim Jong Nam is shown on vacation in Shanghai in this undated photo.

7

Kim Jong Nam was widely believed to be next in line to succeed his father until 2001, when he was detained for several days in Japan after he was caught trying to enter the country using a fake Dominican Republic passport in order to take his wife and son to Tokyo Disney Resort. He was deported to China.

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