Photo/IllutrationKim Jong Nam, left, meets a U.S. citizen, right above, in a hotel in Langkawi, a resort island in northern Malaysia, on Feb. 9, four days before he was murdered in Kuala Lumpur. (Provided by a source)

KUALA LUMPUR--Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, apparently made contact with a suspected U.S. intelligence agent in Malaysia four days before he was murdered there.

Malaysian investigation authorities speculate that this was one of the reasons behind Pyongyang's decision to silence him.

According to investigative authorities and acquaintances of Kim Jong Nam, he arrived alone in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur in the afternoon of Feb. 6 from Macau, where he was living in exile with his family.

Security camera footage showed him arriving with a single black bag.

On Feb. 8, Kim traveled to the resort island of Langkawi in northern Malaysia without telling anyone around him about his travel plans.

Security cameras at a hotel there showed him meeting his contact, described as a middle-aged Korea-American based in Bangkok, in the building on Feb. 9.

Malaysian investigation authorities had been tailing the American every time he entered Malaysia, suspecting that he had links to a U.S. intelligence agency.

The man entered Malaysia on the same day that Kim arrived in the country. He had met Kim in Malaysia several times in the past.

On Feb. 9, Kim and his contact entered a suite in the hotel around 1 p.m. and left two hours later.

An analysis of Kim’s notebook computer showed that a USB memory stick had been inserted into the PC, leading to suspicions that Kim handed over a large volume of information he was not able to convey orally.

Kim returned from Langkawi to Kuala Lumpur on the evening of Feb. 12. He was attacked with poison in the concourse of Kuala Lumpur International Airport the following morning and died shortly afterward. The U.S. citizen left Malaysia the same day.

Investigative authorities suspect that North Korea’s secret police had gotten wind of Kim’s activities and itinerary.