Citing an unnamed “person knowledgeable about the matter”, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday “there was a nexus” between Kim Jong-nam and the CIA, adding that many details of his relationship with the agency remained unclear.

According to the Journal’s source, Kim travelled to Malaysia in February 2017 to meet his CIA contact, although that may not have been the sole purpose of his trip.

But the newspaper said Kim, who was once considered the favourite to succeed his father, Kim Jong-il, as leader but fell out of favour, was probably unable to shed much light on the regime’s internal politics.