TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Reports surfaced last week stating that the nephew of North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un was intercepted in Taipei by the CIA in 2017 — and he has not been seen since.
After the North Korean strongman's older brother Kim Jong-nam was fatally poisoned by a nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February of 2017, his son Kim Han-sol began fearing he could be next. Living in Macau at the time, Kim Han-sol contacted Adrian Hong Chang, a member of the dissident group the Free Joseon movement, also known as Cheollima Civil Defense, for assistance.
According to a report by The New Yorker, Kim told Hong that Macau police who had usually guarded his house had suddenly disappeared. He said that he feared for his life and that he, his mother, and sister needed to "get out of Macau as soon as possible."
The group then arranged for Kim and his family to fly to Taiwan. They were met at the airport by Christopher Ahn, another member of the group and a former U.S. marine.
After waiting in a Taipei airport lounge for 18 hours, a flight was arranged to transport Kim and his family to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the Netherlands. However, when they tried to board the plane, they were denied by the check-in agent as their passports had been flagged.
Two men who identified themselves as CIA agents then attempted to speak with Kim, but Ahn advised against it. The next morning, airport agents helped Kim book a new flight to Amsterdam.
However, the CIA agents said they would be accompanying Kim on the flight. Concerned about Kim's safety, the former marine requested that Kim speak in a video thanking him and Hong for their aid prior to departing.
Kim Han-sol (left), Christopher Ahn (right) in Taipei airport. (Free Joseon photo)
The video surfaced three weeks later on YouTube, marking the first public confirmation of Kim Han-sol's existence and of Cheollima Civil Defense.
A team dispatched by Free Joseon and a Dutch human-rights lawyer waited for Kim in vain at the airport in Schiphol. Hong told the magazine that Kim called and claimed that he had tried to pass through the gate but was directed to a side door leading to an airport hotel.
Kim had confirmed to Ahn that he wished to seek refuge in the Netherlands. The Free Joseon team members waited in the hotel lobby for Kim, but he never appeared.
The author then cited multiple sources as saying that the CIA intercepted Kim and his family and took them into custody. It is not clear whether they were taken to a location in the Netherlands or elsewhere.