One female suspect in Kim Jong Nam murder suffers effects of VX nerve agent: Police chief

Malaysian police say a chemical on a U.N. list of weapons of mass destruction called VX nerve agent was used to kill the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in last week's bizarre murder in a busy Kuala Lumpur airport.
Malaysia's Royal Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar demonstrating to the media during a news conference regarding the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam, at the Malaysian police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, on Feb 22, 2017.
Malaysia's Royal Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar demonstrating to the media during a news conference regarding the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam, at the Malaysian police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, on Feb 22, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - One of the two women suspected of killing Mr Kim Jong Nam with the highly toxic VX nerve agent has shown side effects from contact with the chemical, Malaysia's police chief said on Friday (Feb 24).

"She was vomiting," said Inspector General of Police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar, who declined to elaborate.

He spoke to reporters after he released a statement earlier in the morning saying that Mr Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was killed by VX nerve agent, citing a preliminary report by the Centre for Chemical Weapons Analysis of the Chemistry Department.

VX nerve agent is classified by the United Nations as a chemical weapon of mass destruction.

The IGP said the police were investigating whether the nerve agent was brought into Malaysia or produced in the country. 

"If the chemical was brought in in small amount, it's hard for us to detect," he said.

"We are making arrangements to sweep all locations which we knew the two suspects went to," he added.

Meanwhile, North Korean embassy councillor Kim Yu Song told reporters on Friday that the embassy has yet to receive any letter from Malaysian authorities seeking the two newly named suspects - a diplomat and an Air Koryo staff. 

"As of today, we've not received any relevant document from the police or the foreign ministry of Malaysia," Mr Kim Yu Song said, adding that South Korean media had falsely reported his comments on Thursday. 

"South Korean media reported as if the embassy had received the document. This is a lie and we strongly protest this," he said.