Kim Jong Nam was exposed to nerve agent

In first official response, Pyongyang refers only to "a citizen of the Republic dying of shock " After a long silence, the North Korean government in Pyongyang issued their first official response on February 23 to the killing of leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother Jong-nam. VX is tasteless and odourless, and is outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention, except for "research, medical or pharmaceutical purposes".

The only known use of the substance is as a chemical warfare agent.

Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar named the North Korean diplomat wanted for questioning as 44-year-old Hyon Kwang Song, and said he held the rank of second secretary at the embassy.

VX nerve agent was detected on Kim's eyes and face, Khalid said earlier in a written statement, citing a preliminary report from the country's Center for Chemical Weapons Analysis.

It is not known how the women were able to apply the nerve agent to Mr Kim's face without becoming ill themselves.

It is a chemical weapon which has been used as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

Malaysian authorities are slowly getting to the bottom of the death of Kim Jong-nam.

Indoor Air - as a liquid spray (aerosol) or as a vapor when temperatures are high. The CDC says that if the skin is exposed to VX and not washed off immediately, the result would be fatal for the victim. It has been producing chemical weapons since the 1980s and is now estimated to have as many as 5,000 tons, according to a biennial South Korean defence white paper.

Khalid said Friday experts would sweep the busy airport terminal where the Cold War-era attack took place for traces of the toxin as well as other locations the women had visited.

For the first time since the incident North Korea's state-controlled media outlet KCNA has spoken of the death of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia, the half-brother of the country's dictator Kim Jong-un, criticizing the police for an investigations it said was filled with "holes and contradictions". Thursday's statement described him only as a North Korean citizen bearing a diplomatic passport.

But the Kuala Lumpur government, one of the few in the world that has friendly relations with Pyongyang, has remained adamant that it will follow all procedures required when a suspicious death occurs on its soil.

Malaysia has recalled its ambassador from Pyongyang for consultations.

If North Korea really did use VX to assassinate Kim Jong Nam, it would show a new level of sophistication in its handling and use of chemical weapons, said Kim Dae Young, a military expert at South Korea's Korea Defence and Security Forum.

  • Leroy Wright