New revelations have emerged in the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un. His sensational killing last February made headlines around the world. Now, a police official is saying that Kim met a United States national at a Malaysian island hotel days before his death.
The lead police investigator in the case, Wan Azirul Nizam, told the court that Kim arrived in Malaysia on Feb. 6 and traveled two days later to Langkawi Island off Malaysia’s west coast. Kim apparently met with the American on Feb. 9, four days before his murder. It is believed that the person was a U.S. intelligence agent. Kim returned to Kuala Lumpur from Langkawi on Feb. 12, the day before he was killed.
Kim was believed to have passed a large amount of data to the agent from a laptop found in his backpack after his death. The laptop had been sent to a forensics laboratory in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, which found the computer had last been used on Feb. 9. The forensics report also showed the laptop had accessed data from a USB pendrive on the same day. The pen drive was not among the items found on Kim when he died.
The police also found about $138,000 in Kim’s backpack when he died. Kim’s four mobile phones were also sent for forensic analysis. Wan Azirul stopped short of saying that Kim had passed on data in Langkawi or that the meeting was linked to the airport murder.
Kim was assassinated in a Cold War-style hit. The murder took place at Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb. 13. Two women, Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, have been charged in the crime. They are accused of smearing Kim’s face with VX, a lethal chemical poison, as he waited to board a flight to Macau.
The women have pleaded not guilty. They claim that they thought they were playing a prank for a reality show. Kim died in agony shortly afterwards. The pair face death by hanging if convicted. Four North Korean fugitives have also been charged in the case. South Korea has accused North Korea of ordering the murder. North Korea has denied the allegations.