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Debates Forum

  1. Standard membervivify
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    12 Jun '19 03:431 edit
    From the link in the OP:

    Kim [Jong-nam], 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.

    “Several former US officials said the half brother, who had lived outside of North Korea for many years and had no known power base in Pyongyang, was unlikely to be able to provide details of the secretive country’s inner workings,” it said.
  2. Zugzwang
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    12 Jun '19 04:34
    @vivify said
    From the link in the OP:

    Kim [Jong-nam], 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.

    “Several former US officials said the half brother, who had lived outside of North Korea for many years and had no known power base in Pyongyan ...[text shortened]... unlikely to be able to provide details of the secretive country’s inner workings,” it said.
    I don't know if Kim Jong-nam worked for the CIA.

    I do know that the USA seems desperate for intelligence about the DPRK.
    And the CIA recruits minor informers as well as major ones.
  3. Standard memberDeepThought
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    12 Jun '19 15:50
    @duchess64 said
    I don't know if Kim Jong-nam worked for the CIA.

    I do know that the USA seems desperate for intelligence about the DPRK.
    And the CIA recruits minor informers as well as major ones.
    I think it's fair to say he'd have been a person of interest to many of the world's intelligence agencies. But his informational value would be more along the lines of what the personalities involved are like, what internal frictions there were before he fled, background information basically. All he could hand over as actual information would be early details about the existence of the North Korean nuclear weapons program. He might act as a consultant expert on what information the CIA has from signals sources means.

    I'm wary of the notion that the purpose of his travel was to meet a CIA handler. They'll have had a simpler method of getting in touch, that didn't involve international travel.

    Kim Jong-Un's motive in ordering his killing is, I think, no more complicated than demonstrating that he is prepared to assassinate or execute family members for slight signs of disloyalty. Anyone not related had better watch out.
  4. Zugzwang
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    12 Jun '19 21:182 edits
    @deepthought said
    I think it's fair to say he'd have been a person of interest to many of the world's intelligence agencies. But his informational value would be more along the lines of what the personalities involved are like, what internal frictions there were before he fled, background information basically. All he could hand over as actual information would be early details about the ...[text shortened]... or execute family members for slight signs of disloyalty. Anyone not related had better watch out.
    "I think it's fair to say he'd have been a person of interest to many of the world's
    intelligence agencies. But his informational value would be more along the lines
    of what the personalities involved are like, what internal frictions there were before
    he fled, background information basically. All he could hand over as actual information
    would be early details about the existence of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
    He might act as a consultant expert on what information the CIA has from signals sources means."
    --DeepThought

    That's more than enough to make him worth recruiting as an informer.
    I would add that Kim Jong-nam could have been of value in making a psychological profile of Kim Jong-un.
    I know that intelligence agencies do make these profiles of national leaders.

    After the Second World War, Leni Riefenstahl was interrogated by an Allied psychiatrist.
    He promised confidentiality if she would confide all the intimate details of Hitler's
    sexual behavior toward a woman (herself), which he needed for his psychological profile.
    She replied that she could not help him because Hitler had never slept with her,
    and she was unaware of his sexual behavior toward other women.
  5. Standard memberDeepThought
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    13 Jun '19 10:49
    @duchess64 said
    "I think it's fair to say he'd have been a person of interest to many of the world's
    intelligence agencies. But his informational value would be more along the lines
    of what the personalities involved are like, what internal frictions there were before
    he fled, background information basically. All he could hand over as actual information
    would be early details abou ...[text shortened]... use Hitler had never slept with her,
    and she was unaware of his sexual behavior toward other women.
    I think we more or less agree. Just a point though, he wouldn't necessarily know that the person he was talking to was an intelligence officer. He might think he was just chatting with a business person. They don't necessarily have to formally recruit him. Given that he wasn't given sanctuary it seems possible that contacts with Western intelligence operations may have been unwitting.
  6. Zugzwang
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    13 Jun '19 18:57
    @deepthought said
    I think we more or less agree. Just a point though, he wouldn't necessarily know that the person he was talking to was an intelligence officer. He might think he was just chatting with a business person. They don't necessarily have to formally recruit him. Given that he wasn't given sanctuary it seems possible that contacts with Western intelligence operations may have been unwitting.
    I would assume that, having grown up in the DPRK, Kim Jong-nam should have taken
    great care in talking about Kim Jong-un with anyone whom he did not know very well.

    When living in Macau, did Kim Jong-nam believe that he was protected by China?
    There's a story that a dissident member of the Kim family is living in a secret location in
    China and being protected by Chinese security forces against possible assassination.
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