The WSJ said that an unnamed “person knowledgeable about the matter” confirmed this, saying that “there was a nexus” between the CIA and Kim Jong Nam.
In February 2017, Mr Kim was killed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. Two women smeared the nerve agent VX on his face, causing his death.
VX is a banned chemical weapon.
The two women, Doan Thi Huong, who is from Vietnam, and Siti Aisyah, from Indonesia, were released by Malaysia in May and March, respectively. The trial against the two women started in October 2017, but after one and a half years, the prosecutors in the case suddenly dropped the charge of murder against Ms Aisyah, after much diplomatic pressure from Indonesia.
By April, Ms Huong accepted a lesser charge of “causing injury,” and after having spent two years in jail, she was released on May 3.
The two women claimed they were innocent saying that they had been recruited by people from North Korea, who had told them that what they would do to Kim Jong Nam was a mere prank for a reality show.
But the prosecutors had said that the women were aware of what they were doing and that the murder “was carefully planned and executed”.
After having smeared Mr Kim with the nerve agent, the women fled the scene and went to different restrooms at the airport to wash up. Afterwards, they left the airport in a taxi.
CCTV footage showed four North Koreans at the airport before the attack on Mr Kim, where they gave the poison gas to the two women. After the murder these men were allegedly met by an official from the North Korean embassy as well as one from national airline Air Koryo, at the main terminal of the airport, and they then flew home via various routes.
The WSJ source said that Mr Kim had come to Malaysia to meet his CIA contact, but this may not have been the only reason he travelled to that country.
Mr Kim’s death has been attributed to North Korea by both the United States and South Korea, although North Korea has staunchly denied this.
Mr Kim had been a known critic of his family’s reign in North Korea.
However, the specifics of Mr Kim’s dealings with the Central Intelligence Agency have not been disclosed. Mr Kim has not lived in North Korea for many years, and, according to the WSJ, “had no known power base in Pyongyang, was unlikely to be able to provide details of the secretive country’s inner workings.”
US officials have said that they are certain that Mr Kim, who had been based in Macau, had been communicating with security services of other nations, with China in particular.
Both the CIA and China have not commented on the WSJ report.
Anna Fifield, bureau chief for the Washington Post in Beijing, wrote in her book, The Great Successor, “Kim Jong Nam became an informant for the CIA … His brother would have considered talking to American spies a treacherous act. But Kim Jong Nam provided information to them, usually meeting his handlers in Singapore or Malaysia.”
Reuters, who reported the WSJ story, said that it could not independently confirm it and that the CIA declined to comment. / TISG
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