Kim Jong-Un's Slain Half Brother Was Reportedly a CIA Informant

North Korea under Kim Jong Un is accused of using public executions as a means to keeping its population in a state of fear

Kim Jong Un's half brother was CIA informant - WSJ

Kim Jong Un's half brother Kim Jong Nam was an informant for the Central Intelligence Agency who met a couple of times with unspecified "agency operatives" before he was killed with VX nerve toxin in a Malaysian airport in February 2017, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday-albeit citing a "person knowledgeable with the matter".

Officials at South Korea's National Intelligence Service and Unification Ministry, which oversees ties with North Korea, said they couldn't confirm Monday's report by The Wall Street Journal, which attributed the details to an unidentified "person knowledgeable about the matter".

The Journal wrote that details of the late Kim's involvement with the Central Intelligence Agency "remain unclear", but it does mention that "former US officials and analysts" believed certain other countries including China may have considered him a potential successor to his half brother. The CIA declined to comment.

The report cited several former United States officials, said that the half-brother had no real power in Pyongyang and lived outside of North Korea for many years.

Officials also said that Kim was nearly certainly working with other national security services, especially China.

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.

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

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According to Fifield, Kim Jong Nam usually met his handlers in Singapore and Malaysia, citing a source with knowledge of the intelligence. He reportedly met with an American intelligence agent in the days before he was killed.

It's extremely hard for outside governments and media to verify information about North Korea and members of its secretive ruling family because Pyongyang closely watches visitors and enforces a stringent information blockade on its citizens.

Pyongyang has always been accused of using state killings to instil fear among its population, and leader Kim Jong Un has executed top aides in the past - including his powerful uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in 2013.

In March, the Malaysian attorney general stunningly dropped the murder charge against Aisyah, following high-level lobbying from Jakarta.

Kim Jong-nam was Kim Jong-il's eldest son, and for a while it appeared he was being groomed to succeed him.

One defector held in a labour camp in the early 2000s described how 80 inmates were made to watch the killing of three women charged with trying to escape to China.

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