Who is Kim Han-sol? CIA takes Kim Jong-un's insanely rich nephew into protective custody, says report

The son of Kim Jong-nam, who was murdered by Kim Jong-un in 2017, has gone missing and is suspected to be in CIA custory


                            Who is Kim Han-sol? CIA takes Kim Jong-un's insanely rich nephew into protective custody, says report
Kim Jon-un and Kim Han-sol (Getty Images)

Kim Jong-un's nephew, Kim Han-sol, has gone missing, and there are reports that he has been taken into protective custody by the CIA. Han-sol is the son of Kim Jong-un's brother, Kim Jong-nam, who in 2017 was murdered via nerve agent on the orders of Kim Jong-un. While Han-sol was seeking asylum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, his current location is unknown, and it is believed that he was intercepted by CIA agents.

The 25-year-old is said to have lived a life of lavish luxury. Pictures of him on social media see him dressed in Armani suits and Gucci shoes. Adrian Hong, leader of an underground movement attempting to topple the North Korean government called Free Joseon, said he "never met a kid with so much money. Kim Jong-nam had stashed away a lot of cash during his life." Han-sol called for Free Joseon's help when the police who had been guarding his house in Macau disappeared after his father's death on February, 2017.

Han-sol appeared three months later on a YouTube video, thanking the Cheollima Civil Defense (which has since changed its name to Free Joseon), as well as the governments of the Netherlands, the US, China and another unnamed country. According to Suki Kim, who wrote a New Yorker piece covering Free Joseon and the story of Kim Han-sol, Kim Jong-un's nephew is considered by many to be the rightful heir to North Korea's former Great Leader — making him valuable leverage to whoever has custody of him.

Adrian Hong had contacted Christopher Ahn, a former US Marine who was a member of Free Joseon, to meet Han-sol and his family at the airport in Taipei. There, Ahn escorted the family to a private lounge, where the family remained for 18 hours. After the long wait, Ahn received a call from Hong saying that a country had agreed to take Han-sol. Ahn bought three tickets for Han-sol's family to travel from Taipei to Schiphol Airport, outside Amsterdam.

However, at the gate, the agents checking their passports refused them entry, with no stated reason, though at one point one of the agents was heard saying, "you know exactly why they cannot get on." The family returned to the lounge, and after several hours, two CIA agents showed up — a Korean American named Wes and an older White man, asking to speak to Han-sol. Ahn reportedly told Han-sol "I don’t think you should talk to anybody until we understand what is going on." 

The next day, new airport agents arrived to help the family onto the plane — though Wes said that he would be escorting Han-sol on the plane as well, which worried Ahn. Ahn took a video of Han-sol before he left, as an "insurance policy", and that video is now the last-known footage of Kim Han-sol, as neither him nor his family were seen again. The last that was heard from him was in a call with Adrian Hong, where Han-sol said his family had been taken to an airport hotel instead of being allowed to leave from the front gate. When Hong sent Free Joseon members and a lawyer to the hotel lobby to meet with Han-sol, neither Han-sol nor his family ever showed up.

Han-sol and his family remain missing, and the CIA has declined to comment on the situation.

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