VX nerve agent used to kill Kim Jong Nam, Malaysia says

VX nerve agent used to kill Kim Jong Nam, Malaysia says

This would fit with Kim Jong Un's track record of getting rid of potential contenders for the leadership of North Korea.

Malaysian authorities said they were looking for eight North Korean nationals in connection with Mr Kim's murder, including a high-level North Korean diplomat and an employee of North Korea's state-owned airline Air Koryo.

However, a North Korean official outside Pyongyang's Kuala Lumpur embassy said Friday Malaysia had not submitted a request to speak to Hyon, despite the police chief earlier saying the embassy would be asked for assistance.

The four fled Malaysia shortly after the killing.

Police said he suffered a seizure and was dead before he arrived at hospital.

Kim Jong Nam, who had been living overseas for years, was approached by the two women on February 13 as he waited for a flight home to Macau.

Pyongyang has been sharply critical of the handling of the murder, but Malaysia, which has had friendly relations with North Korea, has proceeded with its investigation, naming eight suspects in the killing.

In his brief written statement released Friday, Khalid said scientists were continuing to analyse "other exhibits" from the autopsy.

Only one person has ever been officially confirmed as having died from VX.

Its lethality has sparked strict controls under United Nations resolutions and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, with the US, Russia and Syria previously known to be among the countries possessing it.

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The revlation that VX was used in the killing brought swift condemnation from South Korea, which slammed its use as a "blatant violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention and other global norms". Tiny amounts of the poison are enough to kill an adult, whether it is inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

The chemical can take days or even weeks to completely disappear.

Airport officials and police have insisted the facility is safe.

The Malaysian government rubbished the baseless allegation by the ambassador.

Kim Jong-Nam, son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, getting off a bus to board an airplane at Narita airport near Tokyo on May 4, 2001.

In a report by science magazine New Scientist, the experts said not only the victim took some time to show any symptoms of the weapon of mass destruction, but it also did not affect the unprotected assailants, nor contaminate bystanders.

Police said they were investigating whether the chemical was brought into Malaysia or made in the country.

"The foreign officer has got immunity so we have to follow protocol", Khalid told reporters.

North Korea is an increasingly isolated state, with an unpredictable ruler, who has nuclear ambitions, biological weapons and access to one of the world's most deadly chemical warfare agents.

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