Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 June 2019

North Korean leader’s assassinated half-brother a CIA informant: report

Kim Jong-nam was killed in at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother Kim Jong-nam was assassinated in Malaysia in February 2017. AFP
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s half brother Kim Jong-nam was assassinated in Malaysia in February 2017. AFP

Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un who was killed in Malaysia in 2017, was a CIA informant, according to American newspaper The Wall Street Journal.

Citing an unnamed source, the newspaper said that many details of Jong-nam’s relationship with the CIA were unclear and that he had travelled to Malaysia in February to meet his contact at the US organisation, although it may not have been the sole purpose of his trip.

Two women were charged with poisoning Jong-nam by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017. Both were released from jail in March and April 2019 after the murder charges were dropped.

“Several former US officials said the half-brother, who had lived outside of North Korea for many years and had no known power base in Pyongyang, was unlikely to be able to provide details of the secretive country’s inner workings,” the report said.

Reuters couldn’t independently confirm the report, the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Beijing, refers Jong-nam being an informant in her book The Great Successor.

The report cited several former US officials, said that the half-brother had no real power in Pyongyang and lived outside of North Korea for many years.

South Korea and Washington have said that the North Korean government ordered the assassination of Jong-nam, who had been critical of his family’s rule.

North Korea and American relations have improved in recent months, after Mr Trump met with Mr Kim at two summits in Asia after tensions escalated over North Korea’s nuclear capability.

The CIA declined to comment.

Updated: June 11, 2019 11:26 AM

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