15 Feb, Seoul : The half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was assassinated on Monday at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, according to South Korean media outlets citing government sources.

Kim Jong Nam, the firstborn son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, was sprayed with poison by two unidentified women who fled the scene in a taxi, according to the reports.

Malaysian police said in a statement today that a 46-year-old North Korean man “who sought initial medical assistance at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport” died Monday en route to a hospital.

Police said the man’s travel document identified him as Kim Chol, a North Korean born on June 10, 1970. Kim Chol is the name of another brother of Kim Jong Un’s, although South Korean government officials told South Korean media that the name in the passport was an alias for Kim Jong Nam.

The State Department told ABC News it was aware of the reports and referred questions about the death to Malaysian authorities. The South Korean Embassy in Washington told ABC News it did not have independent confirmation and was monitoring press coverage.

Many feared that Kim Jong Nam would be assassinated after Kim Jong Un took power in April 2012. A fierce rivalry between the two half-brothers ran deep because of succession conflicts. Kim Jong Nam, as the eldest son in the family, had long been expected to rule North Korea after Kim Jong Il’s death and was backed by senior Communist Party members, including Jang Sung Taek.

Jang, an uncle of the two rival brothers, had been considered No. 2 in power but was brutally executed a year after Kim Jong Un took power.

“North Korea is a society where you will be easily executed not because of your difference in political reasons but because of simple reasons — that you angered Kim Jong Un,” said Thae Yong Ho, a former North Korean diplomat and the highest-level North Korean official to have defected to South Korea in two decades. Source: abc news