Kim Jong Nam, the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who was killed at a Malaysia airport in 2017, was a CIA informant, The Wall Street Journal reports.
“There was a nexus” between the CIA and Kim Jong Nam, a source with knowledge of the matter told The Journal.
Kim Jong Nam was killed by two women who smeared the nerve agent VX on his face at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. South Korean officials accused North Korea of plotting the attack.
The details of his relationship with the CIA remain unclear. He lived outside of North Korea for many years and was “unlikely to be able to provide details of the secretive country’s inner workings,” former US officials told The Journal. They added that his ties to China suggest he was almost certainly working with Chinese authorities as well.
Kim Jong Nam was killed while traveling to meet CIA contact:
According to the report, Kim Jong Nam was in Malaysia in February 2017 to meet his CIA contact when he was killed, though sources told The Journal it may not have been the sole purpose of the trip.
He reportedly met with a Korean-American man at a hotel where he was staying.
Former US officials cautioned that he likely did not provide much useful intel.
“My experience has been that the CIA has repeatedly thought that it had well-placed sources in North Korea, human sources, that really knew what was going on,” former State Department official Joel Wit told The Journal. “Those sources have more often than not proved to not know what’s going on.”