TOKYO (Sputnik) — On February 13, Kim, traveling by the name of Kim Chol, was killed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport before boarding a flight to Macau, where he resided with his family in exile.
During his stay in the country, Kim met with a US national believed by Malaysian authorities to have close links to a US intelligence agency, the Japanese Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.
Malaysian investigators suspect that Kim passed some intelligence data to his US contact, according to the outlet.
"It may well have been in return for the information he provided," a Malaysian official said, as cited by the newspaper, referring to the cash found in Kim's possession on the day of the killing.
The meeting may have caused Pyongyang's decision to silence Kim, the outlet suggested.
Malaysian investigators suspect that Kim was killed with a doze of the VX nerve agent, a substance listed as a chemical weapon by the Chemical Weapons Convention and classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.
Two women, Indonesian and a Vietnamese nationals, were arrested and charged with Kim's murder while Malaysian officials are reportedly looking for seven North Korean suspects in the murder probe.