TOKYO // The half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un was in possession of US$120,000 (Dh440,000) when he was killed at a Kuala Lumpur airport in February, Malaysian investigation officials have told a Japanese newspaper.
Kim Jong-nam met an American suspected of connections with a US intelligence agency four days before his death, Asahi Shimbun reported on Sunday.
He is believed to have met the US citizen for two hours at a hotel in Malaysia and picked up the money while in the country, the newspaper said, quoting the Malaysian officials.
The Asahi said Malaysian authorities believe he may have been paid for information, and there was no record of any such withdrawal from banks in the country.
The eldest son of late leader Kim Jong-il was killed at the airport by two women who smeared VX nerve agent on his face, according to Malaysian authorities. South Korean government officials have speculated that Kim Jong-un was behind the murder of his half-brother, a critic of his leadership who had lived outside the country for years.
Malaysian authorities found four bundles of new $100 bills tied together in stacks of 300 in his bag, Asahi said. Kim Jong-nam held a diplomatic passport so his luggage was not subject to thorough searches when entering and leaving the country, it said.