Kim Jong Un's slain half-brother had met with CIA: report

North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnRussian diplomats leave North Korea by handcar due to coronavirus restrictions Unholy war: The few evangelicals who stood up to Trump Trump offered North Korea's Kim a ride home on Air Force One: report MORE’s half-brother Kim Jong Nam, who was killed in a Malaysian airport in 2017, was a CIA informant who met with agency personnel on several occasions before his death, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing a person knowledgeable about the matter.

At the time of his death, Kim had not lived in North Korea for several years, and he was likely in contact with the intelligence services of other countries as well, including China, the Journal reported Monday.

“There was a nexus” between Kim and the CIA, the source told the paper.


Multiple nations reportedly saw Kim as a possible successor to his half-brother, but American intelligence reportedly concluded he would be a poor fit for such a role.

Kim Jong Nam was killed in Kuala Lumpur when two women smeared the nerve agent VX on his face. U.S. and South Korean officials believe Pyongyang is responsible.

Kim, who spent most of his time in Macau, traveled to Malaysia to meet his CIA contact in February 2017, although the meeting may not have been the only reason for his trip, according to the Journal, citing a person knowledgeable about the matter. He met with an unknown Korean-American man during a several-day stop on the island of Langkawi, according to testimony by police at the trial of the two women.

Seeking informants within the kingdom is often an uphill struggle, according to the newspaper.

“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,” said Joel Wit, a former State Department official and senior fellow at the Stimson Center think tank. “Those sources have more often than not proved to not know what’s going on.”

The CIA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.