Published: Tue, June 11, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Kim Jong Un's half brother was Central Intelligence Agency informant

Kim Jong Un's half brother was Central Intelligence Agency informant

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.

The new report said its findings show arbitrary executions and extrajudicial killings under state custody have continued under the rule of young leader Kim Jong Un despite worldwide criticism over how North Korea supposedly applies the death penalty without due judicial process.

The report by the Seoul-based Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) is the result of four years of research and interviews with more than 600 North Korean defectors living outside the country.

They also said Kim Jong-nam, who resided mainly in Macau, was nearly certainly in contact with security services of other countries, particularly China's.

Washington Post's bureau chief in Beijing, Anna Fifield, addressed the claims about Kim Jong-Nam in her book The Great Successor.

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. He was killed when two women-who claim they thought they were part of a reality TV prank show-smeared VX nerve agent on his face while he waited for a flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

"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. The case against one-Indonesian Siti Aisyah-was dropped, while Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong was freed in May 2019 having served two-thirds of a conviction for "voluntarily causing hurt by risky weapons or means".

North Korea denied being involved; the US and South Korean officials claimed the regime was responsible.

There has been speculation among former U.S. officials and analysts that outside countries, including China, saw Kim Jong-nam as a possible successor to Kim Jong-un should the latter's rule be in danger.

Fifield writes that on his last trip to Malaysia, Kim Jong Nam was seen on security footage in a hotel elevator "with an Asian-looking man who was reported to be an American intelligence agent".

Malaysia in May released from prison a Vietnamese woman, Doan Thi Huong, who was charged in Kim Jong-nam killing.

In his final years, Kim Jong Nam reportedly lived a playboy lifestyle and developed a passion for gambling that was fueled by the many casinos in his adopted home of Macau, known as "Asia's Las Vegas". But he fell from favour in the early 2000s.

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