Mr Cheong Seong Chang, a senior researcher at the Sejong Institute in South Korea, said that report could have angered Mr Kim Jong Un, prompting him to order assassination of someone he viewed as "real threat" to his leadership.
In Malaysia, the police chief in charge of Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Assistant Commissioner Abdul Aziz Ali, told AFP a Korean in his forties was found sick at the airport on Monday.
The 29-year-old suspect was carrying a Vietnamese passport under the name of Doan Thi Huong.More news: Casemiro Unleashes Wonder Strike To Help Real Madrid Put Away Napoli
The report, citing what it called multiple government sources, said the two women hailed a cab and fled immediately afterwards. She was nabbed when she returned to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 to catch a flight to Vietnam on Wednesday. Cars belonging to the North Korean Embassy were seen at the hospital. Kim Jong Nam was the eldest, followed by Kim Jong Chul, who is a few years older than Kim Jong Un and is known as a playboy who reportedly attended an Eric Clapton concert in London in 2015. South Korean media is reporting that Kim was in his 40s.
"He told the receptionist (at the counter of KLIA2). someone had grabbed his face from behind and splashed some liquid on him", Selangor state's criminal investigation chief Fadzil Ahmat told The Star newspaper. After complaining of dizziness to airport staff, he was taken to the airport's clinic. "At this point, he was experiencing headache and was on the verge of passing out", said Mr Fadzil.
An employee in the emergency ward of Putrajaya hospital said a deceased Korean there was born in 1970 and surnamed Kim.More news: Century mark: No. 1 UConn wins staggering 100th straight game
A South Korean lawmaker said yesterday that Mr Kim's family - his former and current wives and three children - are living in Beijing and Macau, and are under the protection of the Chinese authorities.
"Yes, nearly certainly", North Korea expert Van Jackson told Bloomberg. But a Malaysian government official, who also demanded anonymity because of the case's sensitivity, said North Korea objected to the procedure because they wanted the body back.
Although Kim Jong Nam had been originally tipped by some outsiders as a possible successor to his late dictator father, Kim Jong Il, others thought that was unlikely because he lived outside the country, including recently in Macau. South Korean intelligence officials have accused Kim Jong-Un of ordering two female assassins to poison his half-brother, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.More news: Flower shops brace for Valentine's Day