Malaysia reported to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) today that Kim Jong-nam had been killed with the VX nerve agent, a deadly chemical weapon.
Datuk Ahmad Nazri Yusof, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the OPCW, said that a preliminary analysis report from Malaysia’s Chemistry Department sent to the police on February 24 determined that the chemical substance used on the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was “Ethyl N-2-Diisopropylaminoethyl Methylphosphonothioate”, or VX nerve agent, a weapon listed under Schedule 1 of the Chemical Weapons Convention.
“The government of Malaysia will fully cooperate with the OPCW and other international organisations to bring the perpetrators to justice,” Ahmad Nazri said in his statement to the OPCW.
“Malaysia strongly condemns the use of such a chemical weapon by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances. Its use at a public place could have endangered the general public,” he added.
He also said Malaysia has complied with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and reiterated that it did not produce, stockpile, import, export or use any Schedule I toxic chemicals, including the VX nerve agent.
“Regular verifications by International Inspectors of the OPCW have also been undertaken,” Ahmad Nazri said.
A Pyongyang spokesman, Ri Tong-il, said last week that its North Korean citizen, which Pyongyang has not identified, had died in Malaysia from heart failure instead of poison from VX nerve toxin.
Malaysia’s representative to the OPCW said the internal investigation of the case was being conducted “professionally, objectively, impartially and transparently”, insisting that the North Korean embassy here has been updated since day one.
“The government of Malaysia is committed to resolve and find a closure to this unfortunate incident. However, due to the complexity and sensitivity of the case, investigation may take longer than what we hope for,” said Ahmad Nazri.
The OPCW is an international organisation with a working relationship with the United Nations, headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands. It is the implementing body of the Chemical Weapons Convention that entered into force in 1997 to end the use of chemical warfare.
Malaysia is one of OPCW’s 192 member states.
Diplomatic ties between Malaysia and North Korea have worsened since Jong-nam’s murder at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 on February 13, with Pyongyang announcing that Malaysian citizens were now prohibited from leaving North Korea after Malaysia expelled North Korean ambassador Kang Chol.
Putrajaya responded today by announcing that all North Koreans are barred from leaving Malaysia with immediate effect.
The Foreign Ministry has said that the 11 Malaysians stranded in North Korea are currently safe.
Source : @ Malay Mail Online