President Donald Trump on Tuesday vowed not to authorize the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to spy on North Korea’s Kim Jong Un following reports that Kim’s elder brother had been a CIA informant
“I saw the information about the CIA with respect to his brother or half brother, and I would tell him that would not happen under my auspices, that’s for sure,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Tuesday.
“I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” he affirmed.
President Trump, on reports that Kim Jong Un’s slain half-brother was an informant for the CIA, says that his relationship with the North Korean leader “is such that that wouldn’t happen under my auspices.” pic.twitter.com/hYhb8tRxag
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) June 11, 2019
Trump’s remarks follow a new report by The Wall Street Journal which said that the elder Kim, Kim Jong Nam, was an informant to the CIA and was suspected of meeting with an American intelligence agent in Malaysia around the time of his murder in February 2017.
Kim Jong Nam’s death, caused by two women who ambushed him at a Malaysian airport and smeared nerve agent in his face, is suspected of being ordered by the current dictator to eliminate a threat to his rule.
Although Kim Jong Nam was the elder, exiled Kim brother who lived primarily in Macau, communication with him is said to be one of the lengths the CIA went to in order to acquire information on North Korea.
Trump indicated that such measures would be unnecessary in what he considers a good relationship with North Korea and Kim Jong Un.
“I just received a beautiful letter from Kim Jong Un. I can’t show you the letter, obviously, but it was very personal, very warm, very nice letter,” Trump also told reporters on Tuesday.
“North Korea, under his leadership, has great potential,” Trump continued.
Trump touted tremendous progress in U.S.-North Korean relations, which he said the latest letter from Kim Jong Un confirms.
“No nuclear testing. No major missile testing. Nothing like when I first got here,” he said of North Korea’s activities. “We have a very good relationship together,” he added.
In March, however, North Korea threatened to back out of denuclearization talks and criticized the “gangster-like” demands of U.S. officials.
In April, North Korea test-fired a “tactical guided weapon,” which U.S. officials later confirmed was not a ballistic missile. North Korea later referred to it as “rocket artillery.”
Kim reportedly called the test and new weapon system one of “very weighty significance in increasing the combat power” of North Korea.
Then in May, North Korea held several launches of short-range missiles – the first missile testing the country has conducted since 2017.
North Korean foreign ministry spokesman declared the launches a “routine and self-defensive military drill.” The spokesman went on to insist that North Korea has been exerting “maximum patience” in light of stalled nuclear talks with the Trump Administration.