Kim Jong-nam killing: VX nerve agent 'found on his face'

A statement Friday from the inspector general of police said that a preliminary analysis from the Chemistry Department of Malaysia identified the agent at "VX NERVE AGENT".

It is believed that the nerve agent was used by Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria and was classified as a chemical weapon.

" VX is considered to be much more toxic by entry through the skin and toxic by inhalation".

VX is tasteless and odorless, and is outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention, except for "research, medical or pharmaceutical purposes".

Nam died earlier this month after he was preparing to check into a flight at the Kuala Lumpur airport and he was attacked by two women who put a substance on his face.

Malaysian police think four North Korean suspects may have fled to Pyongyang immediately after the killing.

John Trestrail, a forensic toxicologist and author of a book about homicidal poisonings, said it is theoretically possible to create a "binary poison" from two chemicals that would be harmless in separation, but deadly when combined (which would explain why neither woman was injured).

Four of the suspects are at-large in Malaysia while the "other four left Malaysia on the day of the attack, taking a circuitous route-via Dubai and Vladivostok, Russia-to get back to Pyongyang without going through China", according to the Post. He said swabs were taken from the eye and face of the victim.

When questioned, one of the suspects, Siti Aisyah, claimed that they had been paid as part of what they believed to be a prank TV show.

Before death, there would probably be convulsions, seizures, loss of consciousness and paralysis.

Malaysian authorities report that the chemical substance used to kill Kim was VX nerve agent, CNN reports.

The announcement follows a strong warning from culture and tourism minister Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz who told his citizens to stay clear of North Korea. It's seeking at least seven North Koreans, including a diplomat, in connection with the crime.

He sought help from airport staff but died before reaching the hospital, police said.

Clothing can also release VX after contact with VX vapour, which can lead to exposure of other people through contaminated items of clothing.

South Korean authorities have accused Kim Jong Un, who came to power in North Korea in 2011, of putting out a "standing order" to assassinate his older half brother.

Kim was once seen as a possible successor to his father, Kim Jong-il, but was bypassed in favour of his younger half-brother, Kim Jong-un, and spent many years living overseas.

Facial recognition technology was used to match Ms Huong to a woman who appeared on the show under a different name in June past year, Reuters reported.

North Korea has denied involvement in Kim's death and has only acknowledged his identity as a citizen of North Korea, not the half-brother of its ruler.

  • Leroy Wright