Thursday, 19 October 2017

Malaysia gives Pyongyang a pass on Kim Jong-nam murder

Ongoing trial of two women accused of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother will ultimately not convict the assassination's true plotters

The trial of two women charged with assassinating the North Korean leader’s estranged half-brother Kim Jong-nam has raised as many questions as proceedings have so far answered about a bizarre crime few independent observers doubt Pyongyang ordered and executed.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Vietnamese national Doan Thi Huong, 28, are charged with murdering Kim Jong-nam at the Kuala Lumpur International airport in February by smearing his face with a highly toxic VX nerve agent. Four suspects on the lam mentioned in the prosecution’s charge sheet are presumed to be North Koreans who have fled the country.

Raja Subramaniam, a Malaysian government chemist, has testified he found around 1.4 times the lethal dosage of VX nerve agent on the victim’s body and detected the substance on the clothes both women wore on the day of the attack. Experts have been confounded at how the women managed to handle the chemical without causing harm to themselves.

Four North Koreans are widely believed to have arranged and coordinated the hit, including the recruitment, handling and providing the chemical components of nerve agent to the two accused women. VX is a controlled substance banned by international treaties and classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.

Read the full story at the 
Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at