Mr Kim was reportedly killed by female North Korean spies with a poison needle in Kuala Kumpur

The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been assassinated in Malaysia.

The BBC reports that the North Korean was killed in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur according to South Korean sources.

Malaysian police reportedly said that a Korean man was waiting at the airport for a flight to Macau on Monday and fell ill before dying on the way to hospital. The police did not confirm that the man was Kim Jong-nam.

Kim Jong-nam, 45, was North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s eldest son. Mr Kim was thought to have fled North Korea after being passed over for the leadership.

According to TV Chosun, South Korean cable television network in South Korea, Mr Kim was poisoned at the airport by two North Korean women. The Telegraph adds that the killers were North Korean agents who were reportedly wielding “poison needles.”

The BBC adds that a UK source “with close ties to the Kim family told the BBC that poison had been involved in the death.”

An autopsy is to be performed on Mr Kim’s body at the Putrajaya hospital near Kuala Lumpur.

Back in 2001, Mr Kim was caught attempting to enter Japan with a false passport. He informed officials that he was planning to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

Although a potential and likely successor to Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-nam was thought to have fallen out with his father over the incident. Mr Kim was thereby bypassed in favour of his youngest half-brother for succession when Kim Jong-il died in 2011.