Malaysian police: Deadly VX nerve agent killed Kim's half-brother

Tracy FergusonFeb 26, 2017

An Indonesian woman who is now in Malaysian police custody over the assassination of the half bother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says she was paid only $90 to do the job in what she thought was a "TV prank show".

Mr Kim, who is the eldest son of late former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, was attacked at the busy Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13 when trying to board a plane to Macau.

VX is a potent chemical weapon listed by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.

There is widespread suspicion that North Korea was behind the attack, which it strongly denies.

Japanese broadcaster Fuji TV broadcasted airport camera footage on Monday showing the moment when the women appeared to assault Kim Jong Nam.

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Malaysian police said Friday that one of the two women did suffer vomiting after she was taken into custody, but that she had recovered since. It called it a "blatant violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and other worldwide norms".

VX, the chemical used in the airport murder of Kim Jong Nam, is one of the deadliest chemical weapons created by man.

The unofficial meeting planned for next week was abandoned when the State Department refused to issue visas for the North Korean diplomats coming from Pyongyang. VX, thought to be stockpiled by Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria and used by Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, is classified as a chemical weapon.

One man wanted for questioning is senior North Korean embassy official Hyon Kwang-song.

Detectives are holding three people - two women from Indonesia and Vietnam, and a North Korean man - but want to speak to seven others.

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Earlier in a statement, Khalid said a Vietnamese woman and an Indonesian woman wiped a liquid on Kim Jong Nam's face by grabbing him from behind.

"We strongly believe it is a planned thing and that they have been trained to do that".

Tensions are on the rise between North Korea and Malaysia as they fight mainly over the body of Kim Jong Nam. He died en route to hospital.

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. Then, in anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours, it can cause a range of symptoms, from blurred vision to a headache.

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