Malaysian police has identified VX nerve agent as the chemical which was found on Kim Jong Nam, half-brother to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, when he was murdered.

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The findings were published this morning (Friday, 24th February) by the Royal Malaysia Police via Facebook. In the statement, it was explained that swabs were taken from the victim’s eyes and face.

Source: Time, Boing Boing

The toxicology test was run by the Centre for Chemical Weapons Analysis at the Chemistry Department, who identified it as ethyl S-2-diisopropylaminoethyl methylphosphonothiolate (or in simpler terms, VX nerve agent).

It was also stated that VX is listed as a “chemical weapon” under Schedule 1 of the Chemical Weapons Convention Act Malaysia 2015 and Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) 1997.

The other exhibits are currently still being analysed.

According to BBC, who talked to Bruce Bennett, a weapons expert at the research institute The Rand Corporation, a tiny amount of the substance is more than sufficient to kill a person. Bennett continued that a miniscule amount of nerve agent could have affected his nervous system immediately, causing him to first shake and die within minutes.

Source: Compound Chemical

VX is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations and is a clear, amber-coloured, oily liquid which is tasteless and odourless. It is also recognised as the most toxic of known chemical warfare agents. It is extremely hard to get your hands on it, as production and stockpiling of the chemical exceeding 100 grams per year was outlawed in 1993.

It works by penetrating the skin and disrupting the transmission of nerve impulses. Once inside the body, it leads to uncontrolled muscle contraction followed by death by asphyxiation. VX can be absorbed into the body via inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, or eye contact. 10 milligrams of VX is sufficient for it to be fatal through skin contact.

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Source: Associated Press

According to previous reports, Kim Jong Nam’s attack happened at around 9am on Monday (13th February) as he was catching a 10am flight to Macau. The victim, who had not gone through immigration yet, experienced a mild seizure at the clinic and was rushed to Putrajaya Hospital. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it.

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4 suspects have been detained so far, with Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese, thought to be the one who swiped toxin on Kim.

Sources: BBC, Facebook.

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