NK Tyrant’s Brother killed by Weapons of Mass Destruction
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s half brother was assassinated with a highly toxic nerve agent VX, Malaysian police said Friday.
Quoting a preliminary toxicology report on Kim Jong Nam’s murder at a Kuala Lumpur airport, police said traces of VX were detected on swabs of the dead man’s face and eyes.
The substance is the odourless, tasteless but extremely toxic.
The attack against a brother of the North Korea’s tyrant took place on February 13. The CCTV footage shows the portly Kim being approached by two women who appear to put something in his face. Moments later he is seen asking for help from airport staff, who direct him to a clinic.
Malaysian police said he suffered a seizure and died before he reached hospital.
An autopsy ruled out heart failure, and investigators had focused on the theory that a toxin was applied to his face, in what South Korea has insisted was a targeted assassination.
VX used by terrorists for the first time
The only known use of VX is as a chemical warfare agent and the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes it as the “most potent” of all nerve agents.
“It is possible that any visible VX liquid contact on the skin, unless washed off immediately, would be lethal,” the CDC said on its website.
All nerve agents cause their toxic effects by preventing the proper operation of an enzyme that acts as the body’s “off switch” for glands and muscles.
Without that switch, the glands and muscles are constantly being stimulated, and eventually tire and become unable to sustain breathing.
Malaysian detectives are holding three people — women from Indonesia and Vietnam, and a North Korean man — but want to speak to seven others.
NK diplomat among suspects
Reportedly two of the apprehended suspects have direct links to the North Korea’s regime.
The Malaysian police on Wednesday said they want to question three new North Korean suspects, including a North Korean diplomat, in connection with the apparent assassination last week of Kim Jong Nam, the older half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
At a news conference in the Malaysian capital, Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the new suspects include Hyon Kwang Song, the second secretary in the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. The other suspects named were Kim Uk Il, who works for the North Korean airline Air Koryo, and a North Korean man identified as Ri Ji U, but no other details were given about him.
(AFP, VOA, pht)