A North Korea agent who came to South Korea posing as a defector told police he was on a mission to assassinate Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. The North Korean agent, identified only by his surname Kim (50) was arrested on Sept. 12.
Kim told police he was ordered by the North's State Security Department in July 2010 to kill Kim Jong-nam, who lives mostly in Macau. Intelligence officials are investigating whether the account is true.
Kim had been an agent in Beijing and other parts of China for a decade ago and came to South Korea in June this year as part of a group of defectors. When his cover was blown under questioning by intelligence officials here, Kim at first said he was sent to South Korea as a sleeper agent, ordered to settle in the South and await further orders.
But more recently Kim said he was ordered to enter South Korea to approach activist Park Sang-hak, a defector who is now involved in sending anti-communist leaflets to the North attached to helium balloons.
Kim Jong-nam travels back and forth between Beijing and Macau. July 2010, when Kim was ordered to assassinate him, only two months before his younger half-brother Kim Jong-un was anointed as his father's successor.