The FBI said it has evidence that North Korea is involved in orchestrating the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader.
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The claim by the FBI is contained in a confidential report prepared by the North’s Ministry of State Security, based on intelligence gathered and analyzed by the U.S. intelligence community, according to a copy of the document provided by senior U.S. intelligence officials.
The agency did not detail the source of its information, and according to U.S. officials, the details in the document have not been released publicly by the FBI or the intelligence community before.
A U.S. security official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss internal classified issues, confirmed that the FBI is now working with the intelligence community to try to determine what agency provided the information to the North.
If the document is confirmed, it would be the first evidence to support a theory that North Korea was behind the death of Kim, who was killed during a cross-border missile test last month.
“We believe it [the killing of Kim] was orchestrated from North Korea,” an intelligence source told ABC News.
The FBI declined to comment on the document or the details of the North Korea information.
The information is contained in a highly classified report which documents, among other things, North Korea’s use of money, human smuggling, and intelligence gathering.
The FBI said it has now “reached out to the proper authorities” to assess the source of the information.
When they learned North Korea was behind the killing of Kim Jong Nam, “we were very much concerned,” said one senior U.S. intelligence official, referring to the South. “It was our belief there was something more.”
The South Korean intelligence agency believes that North Korea is behind the assassination, but it won’t “directly” blame North Korea, officials say.
“It’s pretty difficult to pin down who they were that did it [with Kim],” one security official said.
A U.S. government source said North Korea’s recent actions were “a direct step from what we saw, and there’s nothing that we believe we can attribute that to.”
North Korea has not commented on the allegations.
ABC News’ Mike Levine, Katherine