News

’Highly toxic nerve agent killed Kim Jong–m’

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 24: A highly–toxic agent was used in the
assassition of Kim Jong–m, the estranged half–brother of North
Korean leader Kim Jong–un, the Malaysian police said on Friday. Kim died
last week after a suspected poisoning while on his way to catch a
flight to Macau from the Kuala Lumpur Airport. Police chief Khalid Abu
Bakar said in a statement that the chemical was identified as the VX
nerve agent and was found on swabs taken from Kim’s eyes and face, The
Star newspaper reported. The nerve agent used to kill Kim is considered
an extremely toxic substance and is classified as a weapon of mass
destruction by the UN. Bakar said that one of the two women who staged
the attack became unwell as a result of poisoning from the same
chemical.

The authorities said they intend to decontamite the Kuala Lumpur
Airport and areas the suspects were known to have visited, according to
the report. Bakar said other exhibits were still under alysis and that
the police were investigating how the banned substance might have
entered Malaysia. “If the amount of the chemical brought in was small,
it would be difficult for us to detect,” he said. According to the
police chief, a Vietmese woman and a Indonesian woman wiped a liquid
on Kim’s face and later washed their hands and fled the scene. His body
remains in the hospital’s mortuary, amid a diplomatic dispute over who
should claim it. Malaysia said it was clearly an attack by North Korean
agents. Four people are in custody, including one North Korean and the
two women Kim interacted with at the airport, according to reports.
Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that according
to embassy documents the body was of North Korean leader Kim Jong–un’s
half brother, but North Korea’s ambassador to Malaysia denied the dead
man’s identity. Pyongyang said that Malaysia was responsible for the
death of one of its citizens. It also accused Malaysia of trying to
politicise the return of his body, saying its insistence on securing D
samples from Kim’s family before handing the body over was “absurd”.
(IANS)