PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The family of Mr Kim Jong Nam, the murdered half-brother of North Korea's leader, is uncontactable and not seen at his two homes in Macau.
Reporters from Chosun Ilbo, a Seoul-based daily, said "no one would talk" when they visited his properties in an eight-storey apartment and a high-rise condominium in Macau's old quarter on Wednesday (Feb 15).
Mr Kim Jong Nam moved into the Macau condominium with his family in 2008 so that his two children could attend an international school which is just five minutes away.
However, he moved out in 2011 when its location became public knowledge among South Korean residents there after his son Han Sol brought home a South Korean girlfriend.
The 23-year-old son said last year that he was heading to Macau from France, where he studied. But South Korean expats in Macau said they had not seen him of late.
Mr Kim Jong Nam's 18-year-old daughter Sol Hui had not been seen too.
"I tried to call Jong Nam's wife after learning about his assassination in the news ... but her mobile phone was turned off. They probably had an action plan in case something bad happened to him," said a family friend.
Mr Kim Jong Nam settled in Macau in 2002 when he entered on a visitor visa and later gained citizenship. A source had said he regularly frequented several Korean restaurants there, besides going to the casinos.
Prior to his father Kim Jong Il's death in December 2011, he had travelled widely throughout South-East Asia and Europe. He had been labelled a "playboy heir-apparent" and had mistresses in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
When his father suffered a massive stroke in August 2008, he flew to France and brought back neurologists to Pyongyang.
He became depressed and reclusive after his half-brother and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed their uncle Jang Song Taek in December 2013. He started to limit his travels, reportedly because his allowance from Mr Jang had been cut off.
"He grew depressed after Jang was executed and often said 'life is so sad' and expressed dismay at how his uncle was killed," Chosun Ilbo quoted a family friend as saying.