In an article published Monday in the Wall Street Journal, Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong Un—leader of North Korea—has been reported to have been a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) informant.
The information reportedly was obtained from an unnamed individual who was a “person knowledgeable about the matter.” The individual was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as stating that the CIA and Kim Jong Nam had a "nexus." Although, at this time, it remains unclear as to the exact relationship that Kim Jong Nam had with the CIA. It is worth noting that Reuter's could not confirm the story and the CIA when contacted, declined to comment on the subject.
Kim Jong Nam had lived outside of North Korea for years and admittedly had little to no connection to the power base in Pyongyang. As such, it is highly improbable that he would have been able to provide many details or secrets of the country's inner workings.
The report also noted former officials stated that it was almost certain that the US wasn’t the only country that Kim Jong Nam was in contact with. He was most assuredly in contact with the security services of several other countries, China in particular.
The role of Kim Jong Nam as a former CIA informant, is highly mentioned in the book "The Great Successor," which is due to be published on Tuesday. Written by a Washington Post reporter, Anna Fifield, the book cites a knowledgeable source with intelligence, that Kim Jong Nam would meet his handles in both Singapore and Malaysia.
The book also cites the existence of camera footage from his last trip to Malaysia, where Kim Jong Nam was shown in an elevator with an individual that was reportedly a US Intelligence Agent. The agent was noted to have a backpack, thought to contain $120,000 cash, which could have been payment for intelligence-related activities.
In February 2017, two women allegedly smeared the liquid VX, a banned chemical weapon, on Kim Jong Nam’s face, which then subsequently poisoned and killed him. Both women, one Vietnamese and one Indonesian, were released by Malaysia in March and May.
Both South Korea and officials in the US have long thought that the assassination of Kim Jong Nam came from North Korean authorities. It is believed the order for his death was the result of his criticism of his family and their dynastic. Pyongyang has continued to deny the allegation.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Was Kim Jong Nam an informant for the CIA? And if so, is that the reason for his assassination?