Half-brother of North Korea's Kim was a Central Intelligence Agency 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

He was attacked by two women who spread the nerve agent VX on his face.

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".

"His brother would have considered talking to American spies a treacherous act", the author writes.

Kim Jong Nam was killed on February 13, 2017, when two young women smeared VX nerve agent on his face at a Kuala Lumpur International Airport terminal. It has previously been suggested that Kim had been working with American intelligence agents, though the Journal's report on the supposed relationship is the most detailed to date.

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.

Kim lived primarily outside North Korea, usually residing just outside of China in Macau.

Purged members of the elite have been among those executed in public, such as leader Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, in 2013.

US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have met twice, in Hanoi in February and Singapore in June past year.


North Korea says it respects human rights and dismisses allegations of violations as fabrications told by North Korean defectors, whom it denounces as "human scum".

United States 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.

Kim gained a reputation as somewhat of a playboy when studying overseas, and lost his father's support after being arrested trying to travel to Disneyland in Tokyo on a fake Chinese passport.

He travelled to Malaysia in February 2017 to meet with his Central Intelligence Agency contact, though it remains uncertain as to whether or not that was the sole goal of the trip.

The two women who carried out the assassination have now been released. Both were released from jail in March and April 2019 after the murder charges were dropped.

Writing in her book, The Great Successor: The Secret Rise and Rule of Kim Jong Un, she added: "Kim Jong-nam became an informant for the CIA, an agency with a track record of trying to bring down dictators it didn't like".

South Korean and U.S. officials have said the North Korean authorities had ordered the assassination of Mr Kim, who had been critical of his family's dynastic rule.

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