Nerve agent killed Kim Jong-nam – Malaysia to ‘review’ ties with North Korea

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A banned nerve agent classified by the United Nations as chemical weapon and weapon of mass destruction was used in the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, on February 13 at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport.

Malaysian investigators said they found traces of the highly toxic VX nerve agent on Jong-nam’s face and in his eyes.

VX is not something you want to come in contact with.

VX is the deadliest nerve agent ever created. Just a tiny drop of about ten milligrammes absorbed through the skin is enough to cause a fatal disruption of the nervous system. It is the most potent of the known chemical warfare agents, a clear, amber-coloured, tasteless and odourless oily liquid.

It works by penetrating the skin and disrupting the transmission of nerve impulses – a drop on the skin can kill in minutes. Lower doses can cause eye pain, blurred vision, drowsiness and vomiting which affected one of the female attackers, Malaysian police said.

“This chemical weapon is banned,” Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia’s inspector general of police, said.

“We will investigate how the chemical substance was brought into Malaysia,” added, noting that VX was listed as a chemical weapon under both the international Chemical Weapons Convention and Malaysia’s own laws.

Police are also asking Malaysia’s atomic energy agency to decontaminate the busy airport terminal after the attack. VX can remain on material, equipment and terrain for long periods.

The only previously confirmed death caused by VX was in a case in 1994, when a member of the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo used the nerve agent against a former colleague, although it is also believed to have been used by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Kurds during the final days of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

According to reports, VX was among the chemical weapons stockpiled by Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria until it agreed to get rid of that arsenal in 2014. Syria and North Korea have had friendly relations that continue to this day.

Meanwhile, Malaysian officials said that the country will re-examine its diplomatic relations with North Korea in light of the latter’s accusations against the former over the death of Kim Jong-nam that alleged that Malaysia was in collusion with any other country namely South Korea, or organisation over his death.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the allegations were uncalled for as Malaysia had been professional in investigations of the case.

He said that Malaysia’s handling of the case should not be questioned as the country has some of the sternest laws to ensure this, such as the Criminal Procedure Code and the Prevention of Criminal Act.

“Do not use reverse psychology on us,” Zahid warned, adding that Malaysia has no wish to make enemies with any country.

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A banned nerve agent classified by the United Nations as chemical weapon and weapon of mass destruction was used in the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, on February 13 at Kuala Lumpur's international airport. Malaysian investigators said they found traces of the highly toxic VX nerve agent on Jong-nam's face and in his eyes. VX is not something you want to come in contact with. VX is the deadliest nerve agent ever created. Just a tiny drop of about ten milligrammes absorbed through the skin is enough to cause a fatal disruption of...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

A banned nerve agent classified by the United Nations as chemical weapon and weapon of mass destruction was used in the killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un, on February 13 at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport.

Malaysian investigators said they found traces of the highly toxic VX nerve agent on Jong-nam’s face and in his eyes.

VX is not something you want to come in contact with.

VX is the deadliest nerve agent ever created. Just a tiny drop of about ten milligrammes absorbed through the skin is enough to cause a fatal disruption of the nervous system. It is the most potent of the known chemical warfare agents, a clear, amber-coloured, tasteless and odourless oily liquid.

It works by penetrating the skin and disrupting the transmission of nerve impulses – a drop on the skin can kill in minutes. Lower doses can cause eye pain, blurred vision, drowsiness and vomiting which affected one of the female attackers, Malaysian police said.

“This chemical weapon is banned,” Khalid Abu Bakar, Malaysia’s inspector general of police, said.

“We will investigate how the chemical substance was brought into Malaysia,” added, noting that VX was listed as a chemical weapon under both the international Chemical Weapons Convention and Malaysia’s own laws.

Police are also asking Malaysia’s atomic energy agency to decontaminate the busy airport terminal after the attack. VX can remain on material, equipment and terrain for long periods.

The only previously confirmed death caused by VX was in a case in 1994, when a member of the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo used the nerve agent against a former colleague, although it is also believed to have been used by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Kurds during the final days of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.

According to reports, VX was among the chemical weapons stockpiled by Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria until it agreed to get rid of that arsenal in 2014. Syria and North Korea have had friendly relations that continue to this day.

Meanwhile, Malaysian officials said that the country will re-examine its diplomatic relations with North Korea in light of the latter’s accusations against the former over the death of Kim Jong-nam that alleged that Malaysia was in collusion with any other country namely South Korea, or organisation over his death.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the allegations were uncalled for as Malaysia had been professional in investigations of the case.

He said that Malaysia’s handling of the case should not be questioned as the country has some of the sternest laws to ensure this, such as the Criminal Procedure Code and the Prevention of Criminal Act.

“Do not use reverse psychology on us,” Zahid warned, adding that Malaysia has no wish to make enemies with any country.

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