As reported by Malay Mail Online,Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Inspector-General of Police in Malaysia, has identified the cause of Kim Jong-nam’s death at #Kuala Lumpur Airport. Investigators established that the cause of death was a powerful neuro-toxin, VX, listed as a weapon of mass destruction by the UN. Reportedly this is only the second time a chemical weapon has been used worldwide in an assassination. In fact, that report says that the last time anyone has heard anything about VX was in the 1996 film “The Rock,” starring Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery.
Investigators found traces of the nerve agent in swabs taken from the face and eyes of former heir to North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il. The preliminary toxicology report showed the poison used by Kim Jong-nam’s killers was VX, a tasteless, odorless and highly toxic nerve agent. Reportedly just a tiny drop of the nerve agent is enough to damage a victim’s central nerve system, killing them within minutes.
According to South Korean experts, North Korea has a vast chemical weapons stockpile of around 5,000 tonnes, including the #Vx Nerve Agent. Leaked CCTV footage from the airport shows two women approaching Kim and appearing to push something into his face. Reportedly one of the two women suspects, currently in custody, has fallen ill and police said on Friday she has been vomiting. While the woman involved in the assassination had previously said they thought they were taking part in a TV prank, one of the women was seen heading towards the bathroom immediately after the attack. It was clear she knew the agent was toxic and that she needed to wash her hands.
As reported by Yahoo! News, Khalid Abu Bakar added that atomic energy experts will be sweeping the busy terminal at Kuala Lumpur airport to seek traces of the toxin, as well as other areas the two women had passed through. They will also be looking for the source of the deadly VX nerve agent, saying they are trying to investigate how it entered Malaysia. However, he added that if the amount of the chemical was small, it might be difficult for them to detect.
According to a leading security expert, it would have been relatively easy to smuggle VX into the country in a diplomatic pouch, which by their nature are not subject to regular customs checks. Rohan Gunaratna, head of the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore, said that North Korea had previously used diplomatic pouches to smuggle contraband into the country.
Three suspects in custody for the assassination of Kim Jong-nam
Three suspects are currently being held by Malaysian police, including the two women from Vietnam and Indonesia and a man from North Korea, but they are wishing to speak to seven other people, of which four are believed to have fled to Pyongyang. Reportedly one of the people wanted for questioning is Hyon Kwang Song, a senior North Korean embassy official, who is believed is still currently in Malaysia. However police did acknowledge that his diplomatic status makes it impossible for them to question him, unless he voluntarily hands himself in.
VX is the “most potent” of nerve agents, according to the CDC
According to the U.S. governments Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is only one possible use for VX, and that is as a chemical warfare agent. The CDC describes VX as being the “most potent” of all such nerve agents. They state on their website that any visible VX liquid contact on the skin would be lethal, unless immediately washed off.
North Korea calls Malaysia’s handling of the case “immoral”
Meanwhile, state media in North Korea has launched an attack on Malaysia, saying they are “playing politics” with Kim’s corpse and that their handling of the case is “immoral.” Reportedly Pyongyang has not acknowledge that the victim of the assassination is the half-brother of their leader, Kim Jong-un, and only refer to him as a citizen of North Korea who just happens to have a diplomatic passport. #kim jong nam