Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who was allegedly assassinated in Malaysia in 2017, had been an informant for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Reuters could not independently confirm the story. The CIA declined to comment.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) June 10, 2019
The Journal quoted the person as saying, “There was a nexus” between the CIA and Kim Jong Nam.
“Several former U.S. 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 Journal said.
The former officials also said Kim Jong Nam had been almost certainly in contact with security services of other countries, particularly China’s, the Journal said.
The Epoch Times previously cited China affairs expert Don Tse who explained that factional politics within the Politburo Standing Committee, which directs the Chinese Communist Party, played an influence on North Korean politics.
“In 2012, when Jang Song Thaek [Kim Jong Un’s uncle] visited China and held secret talks with Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao, they discussed persuading Kim Jong Un to abandon nuclear testing, as well as the possibility that Kim Jong Un could be replaced by his brother, Kim Jong Nam,” Tse said.
But Hu’s attempts at denuclearization were thwarted by then-Chinese security czar Zhou Yongkang—a figure from former leader Jiang Zemin’s “bloody hands” faction—who leaked this information to Kim Jong Un. Kim Jong Un then had Jang purged, reports say.
Some South Korean and U.S. officials have said the North Korean authorities had ordered the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, who had been critical of his family’s dynastic rule. Pyongyang has denied the allegation.
A former member of South Korea’s intelligence agency, Nam Sung-wook, told NTD Television that if Kim Jong Un was the one to order his half-brother’s assassination, he could have been sending a message that he is not to be messed with.
Kim Jong Nam Murder
Two women were charged with poisoning Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, at Kuala Lumpur airport in February 2017. Malaysia released Doan Thi Huong, who is Vietnamese, in May, and Indonesian Siti Aisyah in March.
— Free Malaysia Today (@fmtoday) June 10, 2019
According to the Journal, the person said Kim Jong Nam had traveled to Malaysia in February 2017 to meet his CIA contact, although that may not have been the sole purpose of the trip.
With reporting by Epoch Times and NTD staff.