North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s deceased half brother, Kim Jong Nam, who was killed in 2017, was working as an informant for the Central Intelligence Agency, a person familiar with the matter said, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday.
Kim Jong Nam was said to have met with CIA operatives and established a “nexus,” according to The Journal’s source. Former US officials reportedly said that Kim Jong Nam most likely did not provide the agency with useful information.
Kim Jong Nam was previously reported to have met with a US intelligence agent in a hotel in Malaysia, days before being killed, Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun reported in 2017.
In 2017, Kim Jong Nam was poisoned at Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport by two women who say they were duped by North Korean agents who claimed they would be performing for a prank TV show. Kim Jong Nam was dead within minutes after his face was smeared by the deadly VX nerve agent.
North Korea denied being involved; the US and South Korean officials claimed the regime was responsible. The half brother was estranged from the Kim family after he was caught trying to travel to Japan with false passports in 2001.
The CIA declined to comment to The Journal.