Kim Jong-Nam fell out of favour with the North Korean hierarchy following a botched attempt in 2001 to enter Japan on a forged passport © AFP/File

Agency Report

Half-brother of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-nam,was killed by a highly toxic nerve agent, Malaysia has said.

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He died last week after two women accosted him briefly in a check-in hall at a Kuala Lumpur airport.

And Malaysian toxicology reports indicate he was attacked using “VX nerve agent”, which is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

Malaysia accuses North Koreans for Kim’s death

Malaysia has not blamed the North Korean government for the death, but says North Koreans were clearly behind it.

Kim died on the way to hospital shortly after the 13 February airport encounter. His body remains in a hospital mortuary, amid a diplomatic dispute over who should claim it, the BBC reports.

North Korea were reported to have responded angrily to Malaysia’s insistence on conducting a post-mortem examination and has accused Malaysia of having “sinister” purposes.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s police boss Khalid Abu Bakar said the presence of the nerve agent was detected in swabs taken from Kim’s eyes and face by the Chemistry Department of Malaysia.

He said other exhibits were still under analysis and that police were investigating how the banned substance might have entered Malaysia.

“If the amount of the chemical brought in was small, it would be difficult for us to detect,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

Bruce Bennett, a weapons expert at the research institute the Rand Corporation, told the BBC it would have taken only a tiny amount of the substance to kill Kim.