Kuala Lumpur- VX nerve agent, a chemical the United Nations classifies as a weapon of mass destruction, was used to kill the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in a bizarre murder in Malaysia last week, police said on Friday.
Kim Jong Nam was killed on Feb. 13, shortly after being assaulted at the airport in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, by two women who wiped the chemical on his face as he prepared to board a flight to the Chinese territory of Macau.
South Korean and U.S. officials have said they believe North Korean agents assassinated Kim Jong Nam, who had been living with his family in Macau under Beijing’s protection.
Malaysian police were investigating whether the VX, which is believed to be the most toxic known nerve agent and is banned globally except for research, was brought into the country or made.
The two women suspects – one Vietnamese and the other Indonesian – are in police detention along with a North Korean man. Seven other North Koreans are wanted in connection with the case, including a diplomat at the embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia has repeatedly urged the victim’s family to come forward to help with the inquiry.
Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar said that the police will try to find out how this illegal chemical entered the country.
North Korea is believed to have a large stockpile of VX that can be easily made with low prices, according to Rohan Gunaratna, an expert on terrorism at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
Gunaratna realized that the intelligence of North Korea has been active recently in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, considering this as a threat.