Kim Jong-nam was assassinated with nerve agent
- Author: Leroy Wright Feb 25, 2017,
Feb 25, 2017, 11:31
Traces of VX nerve agent were found on the skin of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged family member of the country's ruling family, after two women approached Jong-nam in the terminal and appeared to smear a substance on his face.
The pair wiped the toxic chemical VX, which is on a United Nations list of weapons of mass destruction, on his face as he prepared to board a flight to Macau in China, investigators have said. The eldest son of late leader Kim Jong-il was murdered in a Kuala Lumpur airport on 13 February.
Police Inspector-General Khalid Abu Bakar said the substance was identified in a preliminary report by the department's Center for Chemical Weapons Analysis. It is thought that the women were directed by others and the Malaysian authorities are demanding an interview with a North Korean diplomat, Hyon Kwang Song, who is known to have been in the airport on the day of the assassination.
South Korean experts have since told news agency AFP that North Korea has up to 5,000 tonnes of chemical weapons, including the VX neuro-toxin.
The North Korean envoy Kang Chol had suggested that Malaysia was trying to "conceal" something in the murder case, and had expressed his dissatisfaction with the Foreign Ministry and the police.
Surveillance footage shows a woman running up to a man believed to be Kim, grabbing his face, and running away.
He is then seen seeking help from staff who ultimately call an ambulance.
North Korea didn't like the fact that Malaysia conducted a post-mortem, it accused Malaysia of having "sinister" purposes.
Malaysia Airports on Friday (Feb 24) moved to assure people passing through Kuala Lumpur International Airport that its premises are safe.
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.
North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
Malaysian police strongly suspect that North Korea is behind the killing, though have not directly blamed them.
"I am outraged that the criminals used such a risky chemical in a public area", Malaysia's Environment Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said.
VX is outlawed except for "research, medical or pharmaceutical purposes" and can be manufactured as a liquid, cream or aerosol, but has no commercial uses and would need to be made in a highly sophisticated laboratory.
In addition to VX and other V-type nerve agents, which are lethal via any contact and remain toxic for a long time, the North Korean regime is also suspected of producing and stockpiling mustard, phosgene, and sarin.