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Half-nephew of Kim Jong Un in CIA custody, report says

Kim Han Sol, who has identified himself as the oldest son of slain Kim Jong Nam (pictured), was taken into CIA custody and his whereabouts are unknown, according to a recent report. File Photo screenshot courtesy of Cheollima Civil Defense/YouTube
Kim Han Sol, who has identified himself as the oldest son of slain Kim Jong Nam (pictured), was taken into CIA custody and his whereabouts are unknown, according to a recent report. File Photo screenshot courtesy of Cheollima Civil Defense/YouTube

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The half-nephew of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was taken into CIA custody, but his whereabouts are unknown, according to a recent report.

Kim Han Sol was taken to an undisclosed location after a meeting with CIA agents, The New Yorker reported. Kim was expected to arrive at Schiphol Airport outside Amsterdam in 2017, but went missing en route while accompanied by a CIA agent. Kim is the son of Kim Jong Nam, the man who was assassinated on Feb. 13, 2017, at an airport in Malaysia.

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The rescue of Kim Han Sol and his family was made possible with the help of Free Joseon's Adrian Hong Chang and Christopher Ahn, a former U.S. marine. The two men were also involved in a raid on the North Korean Embassy in Spain in 2019.

Free Joseon, sometimes known as Cheollima Civil Defense, has often been identified as a North Korea government-in-exile.

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Hong Chang first met Kim Han Sol in Paris around 2013 through a mutual contact. Kim, a teenager at the time, was wearing a pair of Gucci shoes, Hong Chang said.

"Never met a kid with so much money. Kim Jong Nam had stashed away a lot of cash during his life," he said, according to The New Yorker.

In 2017 Kim Han Sol reached out to Hong Chang after his father's death. The family was living in Macau. Kim said the Macau police at his house had vanished without explanation. The family decided to leave immediately, and Hong Chang coordinated with Ahn to make their getaway, which began at an airport in Taiwan, the report says.

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Hong Chang purchased tickets for the family to go to Amsterdam and Ahn was planning to travel with the group, but CIA agents who appeared at the airport in Taiwan prevented Ahn from involvement.

"A team sent by Free Joseon, assisted by a Dutch human rights lawyer, was waiting at the gate" of the Dutch airport, the report says. "Yet they never came through the gate."

Kim Han Sol's father has previously been linked to a North Korea slush fund in Macau, which he helped manage. The regime often uses overseas contacts to earn foreign currency, but many activities are illicit.

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Japan's NHK reported Tuesday two South Korean passport holders have been arrested for illegal seafood trading with North Korea. International sanctions ban North Korean exports of seafood.

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