North Korea agents believed behind murder of leader's half-brother: U.S. source

KIM JONG-NAM: The older half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was murdered in Malaysia with U.S. officials believing he was killed by North Korean agents. Kim was known to spend a significant amount of his time outside the country and had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of the isolated state. REUTERS/Eriko Sugita

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government strongly believes that North Korean agents murdered the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia, a U.S. government source told Reuters on Tuesday.

U.S. authorities have not yet determined exactly how Kim Jong Nam was killed, according to the source, who did not provide firm evidence to support the government’s conclusion.

A South Korean government source said Kim Jong Nam was killed in Malaysia and a Malaysian police official said the cause of his death was not yet known.

Reporting By Mark Hosenball, writing by Matt Spetalnick; editing by Grant McCool