Intellasia East Asia News – Kim Jong-un ordered brother’s assassination ‘because he was working with Korean intelligence’

Since his face was smothered with a deadly nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur airport, mystery has surrounded the hit job that claimed the life of the half-brother of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader.

But new revelations suggest the murdered one-time heir to the North’s despotic regime had been working for the intelligence agency of Pyongyang’s main enemy: South Korea.

Doan Thi Huong, centre, the Vietnamese woman originally suspected of applying the nerve agent

Kim Jong-nam was long believed to have have fallen out of favour with the regime at home, having been forced into exile after being caught with a fake passport on his way to Disneyland in Tokyo.

Since his murder and the subsequent trial of the two young women who applied VX nerve agent to his face on a piece of cloth, suspicions have also been raised about alleged connections to the CIA.

But now current and former officials at South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) have told of how Kim was feeding information to the South on matters such as his half-brother’s health and nuclear ambitions and that he was paid for his assistance

“Kim provided the NIS with information on the trends within the government and the powers of the regime’s most high-ranking officials, including Kim Jong-un, for at least five or six years before his death,” Seoul Broadcasting System reported, quoting unnamed sources.

They added that Kim “raised the question of the possibility of asylum in South Korea”, although the South Korean side apparently hoped to avoid that on the grounds “it would put a considerable burden on inter-Korean relations”.

SBS reported that NIS agents were in regular contact with Kim Jong-nam when he travelled outside Macau, monitored his movements and were able to contact him directly by email. It is understood that despite being in exile, he retained contacts in the North.

The information that he provided included details on his half-brother, SBS reported, with intelligence officials likely to have been interested in the North Korean leader’s physical health, his plans for the development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles or other economic or military policies. They will also have been keen to hear about any hints of resistance to Kim’s rule in political or military circles.

The reports suggests a second motive for the murder of 45-year-old. It was previously assumed that he was killed at the behest of his half-brother as he was the oldest son of Kim Jong-il and had once been seen as a future leader of North Korea.

Forced into exile in Macau with his family in 2001 after being arrested in Tokyo travelling on a fake passport, Kim Jong-nam was reportedly being protected by the Chinese government and could have been installed as a pro-Beijing leader in Pyongyang should Kim Jong-un be usurped..

There was also speculation at the time of his death that Kim Jong-nam was in discussions about moving to live in South Korea permanently, which would have been perceived as a betrayal of the North and three generations of Kim leaders of the nation.

Siti Aisyah, a 29-year-old Indonesian woman, and Đoan Thị Hương, a 33-year-old Vietnamese woman were charged with murder for wiping Kim’s face with a cloth containing VX nerve agent.

They later claimed they thought they were taking part in a TV prank and murder charges were eventually later dropped.

Four North Korean suspects left the airport shortly after the assassination and returned to Pyonyang.

North Korea has a track record of assassinating those it perceives as a threat to the regime, and has demonstrated that it has little compunction about carrying out attacks on foreign soil.

Defectors living in South Korea are also frequently the target of attacks by agents dispatched by the North.

In 2011, police in Seoul detained an assassin who was due to meet an outspoken human rights activist, but was found to be carrying a gun disguised as a torch that fired a bullet coated in a poisonous chemical.



Category: Korea

Print This Post

Source link