Tl;dr – Half-brother of North Korean dictator was assassinated on orders from North Korean officials (according to South Korean intelligence services). Most agree Kim Jong-un ordered it because of paranoia over China and losing command to another powerful family member. China’s blocking coal imports from North Korea now.
Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of the notorious North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un, was poisoned at a Malaysian airport on Monday, Feb. 13. Security footage showed two women cover his face with a cloth soaked in a lethal nerve agent. This Monday, a South Korean investigation revealed that a team of North Korean secret police, foreign ministry members and state-run companies members helped orchestrate the operation. It is likely that Kim Jong-un was behind this assassination.
This is because Dictator Kim Jong-un had previously ordered the execution of the same half brother’s uncle in 2013. Even then, the reasons were unclear why Kim Jong-un made the order, but many speculate it was because of the dictator’s own paranoia around a family member’s close ties to China. The dictator’s half brother who was killed, Kim Jong-nam, also had close ties to China. He lived there and was receiving state-funded aid to protect him from Dictator Kim Jong-un.
In response, China has blocked coal imports from North Korea, a big move from a supposed ally of North Korea. North Korea does 90 percent of its trade with China and coal is the number one good traded.