The nephew of Kim Jong Un was reportedly taken into protective custody by the CIA after he surrendered to American officials.
As News.com.au reported, Kim Han-sol had reportedly gone into hiding after being taken into custody by the American intelligence agency. The report wrote that he is the son of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, who was allegedly murdered on the orders of the North Korean leader three years ago. The dissident group Free Joseon said they helped him escape and had been protecting him since the death of his father.
Kim’s nephew apparently came from tremendous wealth, and reports indicated that his family had stashed away a significant amount of cash. As the outlet noted, the ruling class in North Korea often have extravagant wealth, while common people struggle with extreme poverty and food shortages.
“And all this wealth, along with help from the CIA, is reported to have allowed Han-sol to disappear after his dad was murdered almost four years ago,” the report noted, adding that Kim Han-sol contacted the dissident group for help escaping.
He reportedly met with members of the group in Taiwan days after his father was murdered and boarded a plane headed to the Netherlands to seek asylum but never made it.
“It is alleged that two CIA agents attempted to intercept him at Tapei and he was later taken into protective custody and remains hidden,” the outlet claimed.
Kim Han-sol had been in the spotlight in the past, with some pegging him as a potential leader for North Korea in the future. Back in 2017, after the death of his father, The New York Times published a video profile on him that noted many see the Western-educated young man as a symbol of what the country could become if it were more open to the rest of the world.
It was not clear where Kim Han-sol is currently.
The country is largely closed off from the rest of the world and exerts strict control over state media, making accurate reporting difficult. That has resulted in a number of rumors and unconfirmed reports regarding Kim Jong Un and the nation, including a series of reports earlier in the year claiming that he became gravely ill, with some even claiming that he had died. Others reported that while he was alive and healthy, the North Korean leader had gone into hiding as the coronavirus spread rapidly across North Korea.