North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s half brother Kim Jong Nam had the antidote for the deadly chemical nerve agent that assassins used to end his life earlier this year, a toxicologist told a Malaysian court this week.
Kim Jong Nam was reportedly murdered with N-2-Diisopropylamino Ethyl methylphosphonothioate (VX), a chemical nerve agent recognized as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February. Two women, one from Vietnam and another from Indonesia, stand accused of conspiring with North Korean agents to assassinate the North Korean dictator’s exiled brother.
The victim was supposedly carrying a dozen vials of atropine in his personal bag at the time of the murder, in which the two women smeared VX across Kim’s face, an Alcohol and Clinical Toxicology Unit Chief Dr. L. Sharmilah revealed to the Malaysian High Court, NK News and Reuters introduced late Thursday evening.
If true, it suggests that Kim may have been aware of a threat to his life. Of course, if he had the antidote, it is unclear why it wasn’t used. Many questions continue to surround the unusual and mysterious death of Kim Jong Nam.
When Kim Jong Un took power over five years ago in the wake of his father’s passing, he faced a crisis of legitimacy as the third son of former North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. Kim Jong Nam was the oldest heir, but he was exiled abroad by his father for misconduct. Kim Jong Un secured his position of power through bloody purges, which included his uncle.
Kim Jong Un is believed to have issued a standing order for the murder of his half brother, and an attempt was reportedly made on his life in 2012. Kim Jong Nam once begged his younger brother to spare his life, and he told reporters that he regularly felt like he was living on borrowed time.
While Malaysia is trying the two women — co-conspirators or scapegoats — for murder, the North Korean agents suspected to have orchestrated the entire plot were allowed to return to North Korea with the body of the deceased. North Korea denies any involvement in the murder, but both the U.S. and South Korea suggest that this is textbook North Korean behavior.
President Donald Trump, in response to this issue, recently relisted North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
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