‘Chemical weapon component used to kill Kim Jong-Nam’

RSTV Bureau
Narita : FILE - This May 4, 2001, file photo shows Kim Jong Nam, exiled half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, in Narita, Japan. No cause of death has been determined yet for Kim Jong Nam who died last week after apparently being poisoned in a Kuala Lumpur airport, officials said Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. AP/PTI

Narita : FILE – This May 4, 2001, file photo shows Kim Jong Nam, exiled half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, in Narita, Japan. No cause of death has been determined yet for Kim Jong Nam who died last week after apparently being poisoned in a Kuala Lumpur airport, officials said Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017. AP/PTI

Preliminary toxicology report says that a toxic VX nerve agent, which is used in chemical warfare weapons, was used to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s half brother Kim Jong-Nam.

The announcement was made by the Malaysian police in what is being seen as another weird twist to the high profile assassination, which kicked off a diplomatic row between Malaysia and North Korea.

Malaysian police revealed the liquid poison used by the assassins was the odourless, tasteless and highly toxic nerve agent VX, which has been listed by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction.

Interestingly, according to South Korea, North Korea has a vast stockpile of up to 5,000 tonnes of chemical weapons, which includes VX.

Traces of VX were detected on swabs of the dead man’s face and eyes, the police revealed.

Leaked CCTV footage from the Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13 shows the Kim being approached by two women who appear to push something in his face. The footage then shows Kim asking for help from airport staff, who direct him to a clinic, where he suffers a seizure and dies before reaching the hospital.

Experts say that just a tiny drop of the agent is enough to fatally damage a victim’s central nervous system.

Malaysian police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said detectives and atomic energy experts will look for the source of the VX at the airport terminal where Kim was killed.

“We are investigating how it entered the country…. if the amount of the chemical brought in was small, it would be difficult for us to detect ” Khalid Abu Bakar added.

The police also revealed that one of the two women suspects who is in custody, fell ill after the brazen killing. On Friday the police said she had been vomiting.

However, a leading regional security expert told AFP it would not have been difficult to smuggle VX into Malaysia in a diplomatic pouch, which are not subject to regular customs checks.

(With inputs from agencies)