Saturday 18 November 2017

Airport alert after nerve agent found in Kim's body

A photo that emerged yesterday of Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong, who has been arrested by Malaysian police over the murder of Kim Jong-nam, at a motor show in Vietnam last July. Photo: PTS Chip/Handout via REUTERS
A photo that emerged yesterday of Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong, who has been arrested by Malaysian police over the murder of Kim Jong-nam, at a motor show in Vietnam last July. Photo: PTS Chip/Handout via REUTERS

Raf Sanchez

Malaysian authorities were decontaminating Kuala Lumpur airport yesterday after it emerged that alleged North Korean agents used VX, one of the world's deadliest nerve agents, to assassinate the elder half-brother of Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong-nam was murdered last week by a hit squad who smeared his face with VX, which is among the world's most dangerous chemicals, Malaysian police said.

The announcement sent a tremor of alarm through the country and raised questions about how Malaysia's government had allowed passengers to travel through the terminal for more than a week without carrying out a decontamination.

Asked whether people should avoid the airport out of fears of contamination, Malaysia's police inspector-general Khalid Abu Bakar said: "No. No. No. But I don't know. I am not the expert."

Mr Abu Bakar said specialists were beginning to decontaminate the terminal where Mr Kim was killed as well as other sites the suspected killers had visited. It is not known whether the VX could linger in the terminal or have delayed long-term effects on people who may have been exposed to it.

The nerve agent is considered a weapon of mass destruction and much of the world has committed to destroying its stockpiles of the deadly agent. However, North Korea retains one of the world's largest chemical arsenals and has ample supplies of VX. It is not clear if the alleged North Korean agents were able to smuggle the deadly weapon into Malaysia or if they assembled it themselves inside the country. Both possibilities are alarming for the Malaysian security services.

The two women accused of killing Mr Kim both appear to be in good health despite their contact with VX, although one of them began to vomit after her arrest, according to police.

Last night pictures emerged of the Vietnamese woman suspected of helping to kill Mr Kim, posing on a motorbike in a bikini. Doan Thi Huong worked at an entertainment outlet, according to Malaysian police, who arrested her along with an Indonesian woman.

Ms Huong is a keen singer whose Facebook page features pouting portraits and pictures of parties. The latest picture shows her posing in a flowery white bikini. It is understood she was working at a motor show in Hanoi, Vietnam, the last post on a Facebook page in the name of "Ruby Ruby". (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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