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Kim Jong-Nam
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Celebrity's Relative
    (May 10, 1971-February 13, 2017)
    Born in Pyongyang, North Korea, Kamino
    Eldest son of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il
    Half-brother of dictator Kim Jong Un
    Lived in exile after 2003
    Died at Kuala Lumpar International Airport
    Apparently poisoned, although early reports differed on whether he had been injected with something, had an aerosol sprayed on him, had a liquid splashed on him, or had a liquid-soaked cloth pressed over his mouth
    He was being groomed as his father’s successor, but fell out of favor and was passed over in favor of his younger half-brother.
    His fall from grace was reportedly precipitated by a bizarre incident in which he was arrested at a Japanese airport, traveling with a forged passport from the Dominican Republic, claiming he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland (May, 2001).
    He was said to be a regular at the ‘bathhouses’ in Tokyo’s red-light district.
    He spent most of his exile in Macau, spending much of his time on the slot machines in its casinos.
    For the first few years of his life, his father tried to keep his existence a secret from his grandfather, dictator Kim Il Sung, because of Kim Il Sung’s disapproval of Kim Jong-Il’s relationship with actress Song Hye-rim, Kim Jong-Nam’s mother.
    He claimed that he fell out of favor when he advocated political and economic reforms, prompting his father to say he had turned ‘into a capitalist.’
    He was briefly allowed back in North Korea to pay his respects after his father’s death. (Although he skipped the funeral to avoid speculation over the succession.)
    North Korean agents captured in South Korea admitted to having plotted to kill Kim Jong-Nam via a hit-and-run ‘accident’ in 2010.

Credit: C. Fishel

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