Malaysian police have finally declared that the airport terminal where Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was assassinated earlier this week free from any “hazardous materials.” Policemen and forensic experts in protective suits have thoroughly swept the area for any signs of the deadly chemical used to assassinate Kim Jong-nam, BBC reports. The police officer heading the investigation, Abdul Samah Mat, made the following comment:
“As a result of this screening process done we confirm: number one, there is no hazardous material found in KLIA2. Number two, KLIA2 is free from any form of contamination of hazardous material. And thirdly, is KLIA2 is declared a safe zone.”
Tests showed that Kim Jong-nam was killed using an extremely toxic nerve agent known as VX. One drop of the chemical on a person’s skin can kill them in minutes. Malaysia’s health minister has since shared the results of the autopsy report, calling the toxin used as something that causes extreme paralysis. The United Nations has classified VX as a weapon of mass destruction.
An Indonesian woman who was involved in administering the chemical to the late Kim Jong-nam was captured by police. Twenty-five-year-old Siti Aisyah says that she was paid the equivalent of 90 US dollars to carry out the deed, which she thought was part of a prank. She told officials that she was handed the deadly nerve agent by some men who told her it was all a part of a reality TV show and she was to rub the “baby oil” in Kim Jong-nam’s face.
There have been a lot of conspiracy surrounding the death of the North Korean leader’s half-brother. Many have speculated that North Korea was behind the attack. North Korean officials have however refuted the claim. At the time, a North Korean man and a Vietnamese woman have also been arrested for having possible ties to the assassination. There are at least seven other officials who are believed to have possible ties to the murder and are wanted for questioning by the Malaysian police.
Mr. Kim was killed almost two weeks ago after being exposed to the deadly chemical. Two women approached him in the low-cost carrier terminal at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, known as KLIA2, and smeared the deadly VX toxin to his face. Autopsy reports later confirmed the use of the chemical. Malaysia’s Health Minister S Subramaniam shared the results of the autopsy, which claimed that a “chemical agent caused very serious paralysis and led to his death in a very short period of time.”
Indonesian Deputy Ambassador Andreano Erwin held a 30-minute interrogation with the Indonesian woman who was directly involved with the murder. According to Mr. Erwin, 25-year old Siti Aisyah claims that she had no idea what she was getting involved in.
“She only said in general that somebody asked her to do this activity. She only said in general she met with some people who looked Japanese or Korean. According to her, that person gave her 400 ringgits to do this activity… She only said she was given a kind of oil, like baby oil.”
Kim Jong-nam was the oldest son of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. For many years it was speculated that he was to succeed his father as the head of state of North Korea. But in 2001, Kim Jong-nam was caught trying to sneak into Japan under a false passport. Since them, Kim Jong-nam had become one of the most vocal critics of the North Korean state openly challenging the policies of the state.
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