The Diplomat: Kim Jong-nam’s Assassins in Malaysia Used VX Nerve Agent

Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of former North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Il, was assassinated at the crowded Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. The weapon used against the estranged half-brother of North Korea's current dictator, the youngest son, is reported as the nerve agent VX, a substance banned as a chemical weapon by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and which kills in minutes. “North Korea is thought to possess the world’s third largest chemical weapons stockpile after the United States and Russia, with one estimate noting that it may possess 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical warfare agents,” writes Ankit Panda for the Diplomat. “North Korea is not party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, but has signed the Geneva Protocol restricting the use of chemical agents in war.” A binary system may have activated the toxic agent, allowing ease of transport and a targeted attack. A number of suspects have been implicated, including a North Korean diplomat. A lead suspect is North Korea's government, and theories about motivation vary, ranging from worries about a coup against the current regime to a desire to demonstrate chemical-weapons capability. North Korea protested the autopsy and demanded the body, and the morgue also reported an attempted break-in. – YaleGlobal

The Diplomat: Kim Jong-nam's Assassins in Malaysia Used VX Nerve Agent

Malaysian authorities confirm Kim Jong-nam was killed by the VX nerve agent, a dangerous chemical weapon, in the busy Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Ankit Panda
Sunday, February 26, 2017

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Ankit Panda is an editor at The Diplomat. He writes on security, politics, economics, and culture.

© 2017 The Diplomat. All Rights Reserved.

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