Woman suspected in Kim Jong Nam's murder claims she was paid $90

The Indonesian woman who is one of the suspects in the killing of North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un's half brother said she was paid $90 for what she believed was a prank, an Indonesian official said Saturday.

The VX nerve agent is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations chemical Weapons Convention, BBC reports. One has been detained by the Malaysian police, four are believed to have fled to North Korea, while two are still in Malaysia.

The VX nerve agent used in the murder of Kim Jong-nam on Feb 13 was reported to have been widely used during the Halabja massacre in Iraq by Saddam Hussein in 1988.

North Korea has denied the allegations.

The news Friday that lethal VX nerve agent was used in the attack brought condemnation from South Korea, which has pointed the finger at the North over Kim's death.

Andriano Erwin has met the suspect who rubbed a nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face amid crowds of travellers at Kuala Lumpur's airport, according to police.

A report by the chemistry department of Malaysian police identified the substance as ethyl S-2-Diisopropylaminoethyl methylphosphonothiolate (or VX nerve agent). A colorless, odorless liquid, similar in consistency to motor oil, it kills in tiny quantities that can be absorbed through the skin. Most of those countries have now given up their offensive chemical weapons programs and are in the process of destroying their stockpiles and placing their means of production under worldwide monitoring via the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

In their trial, the cultists said they practiced using syringes to spray the deadly chemical on people's necks as they pretended to be out jogging.

On Thursday, Malaysia requested Interpol to put an alert out to apprehend four North Korean suspects. In a 2015 assessment, the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative wrote: "North Korea claims that it does not possess chemical weapons".

Authorities are now looking into de-contaminating the airport, as the VX chemical could linger on equipment and in airport facilities, Al Jazeera's Looi said.

The Malaysian has been released on police bail. Senior police official Abdul Samah Mat, who is handling the investigation, did not specify what authorities found there, but said the items were being tested for traces of any chemicals.

The two women were seen in surveillance footage wiping the chemical on Kim's face at the airport, Malaysian police said.

He said there was no need for a military intervention in the case despite accusations and allegations from Pyongyang over the death of Kim Jong-nam. Kim died shortly afterward.

  • Salvatore Jensen