Asia

Book author says Kim Jong Nam was tiny hope for change

FILE - This May 4, 2001, file photo shows Kim Jong Nam, exiled half brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, escorted by Japanese police officers at the airport in Narita, Japan. Kim Jong Nam, the outcast half brother of North Korea's leader, told medical workers before he died Feb. 13, 2017,  that he had been attacked at a Malaysian airport with a chemical spray, according to Malaysian officials. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)

FILE - This May 4, 2001, file photo shows Kim Jong Nam, exiled half brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, escorted by Japanese police officers at the airport in Narita, Japan. Kim Jong Nam, the outcast half brother of North Korea's leader, told medical workers before he died Feb. 13, 2017, that he had been attacked at a Malaysian airport with a chemical spray, according to Malaysian officials. (AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye, File)  (The Associated Press)

A Japanese author of a book on North Korea says Kim Jong Nam, who died in an apparent assassination in Malaysia this week, was opposed to hereditary rule by his family and wanted economic reform.

Tokyo-based journalist Yoji Gomi wrote his book "My Father, Kim Jong Ill, and Me," after interviewing Kim, the eldest son of late leader Kim Jong Il. The book provides a rare view into the family, including North Korea's current leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Nam's half brother.

Gomi said Friday that Kim was a tiny hope for change in the isolated communist regime.

There has been speculation of Pyongyang's involvement in Kim's death. Malaysian police have arrested three people in the case, but it's not known if they have any links to North Korea.