What we know about nerve agent that allegedly killed N. Korean

The quickly-acting poison applied in the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam at a crowded airport terminal in Malaysia final week was the banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent, according to police. Kim Jong Nam is the estranged half-brother of North Korean...

What we know about nerve agent that allegedly killed N. Korean

The quickly-acting poison applied in the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam at a crowded airport terminal in Malaysia final week was the banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent, according to police. Kim Jong Nam is the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The Royal Malaysia Police said in a statement today that a preliminary evaluation identified VX nerve agent on the eyes and face of the victim, who was allegedly attacked in a departure region of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and died as he was being transported to the hospital on Feb. 13. The man was carrying North Korean travel documents bearing the name Kim Chol with a birth date of June 1970 and birthplace of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.

Malaysian police officially use the passport identity, Kim Chol, and have requested DNA from family members members to confirm the man’s identity. But Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters last week that the North Korean embassy in Malaysia had confirmed the man was Kim Jong Nam, the eldest sibling of Kim Jong Un who has been living overseas for years, according to The Connected Press.

The South Korean Unification Ministry also stated at a press briefing final week that it recognized the victim was “certainly Kim Jong Nam.”

Malaysian police have arrested 4 folks in connection with the attack and mentioned they are browsing for added suspects.

Inspector-basic of police, Khalid Abu Bakar, told reporters on Wednesday the two women suspected of fatally poisoning the man had been educated to coat their hands with toxic substances and wipe them on his face. Khalid stated the girls knew what they were undertaking and had practiced the attack a number of instances.

"We strongly think it is a planned thing and that they have been trained to do that. This is not just like shooting a movie," he told reporters, according to The AP.

Here’s what is identified about the deadly toxin that allegedly killed Kim Jong Nam.

VX is a man-produced chemical warfare agent that’s classified as a nerve agent, the most toxic and fast-acting of the identified chemical warfare agents. Nerve agents are similar to pesticides in terms of how they operate and the noxious effects, but they are considerably much more potent, according to the Centers for Illness Control and Prevention.

VX is an oily liquid that is odorless, tasteless and amber in color. It has the consistency of motor oil and evaporates pretty slowly, according to the CDC.

VX was initial produced in the United Kingdom in the early 1950s, according to the CDC.

The nerve agent is banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention, an international treaty which North Korea never signed. As an alternative, the isolated nation has spent decades building a complex chemical weapons system that has long worried its neighbors and the international community.

Like all nerve agents, VX unleashes its toxic effects by preventing the correct operation of an enzyme that acts as the body’s “off switch” for glands and muscles. Without having this “off switch,” the glands and muscle tissues are stimulated relentlessly. They may possibly tire and no longer be capable to sustain breathing function, according to the CDC.

Symptoms will seem within seconds of exposure to the vapor kind of VX for the liquid kind, it could take minutes or hours for symptoms to show. Even a tiny quantity of this nerve agent can be lethal, according to the CDC.

Symptoms of VX exposure include things like blurred vision, confusion, cough, diarrhea, drooling, drowsiness, eye discomfort, excessive sweating, headache, enhanced urination, nausea, rapid breathing, runny nose, vomiting, watery eyes and weakness. These symptoms could final for hours after exposure, depending on the quantity.

A victim exposed to a massive dose of VX could also knowledge convulsions, loss of consciousness, paralysis or respiratory failure possibly leading to death.

Victims exposed to a modest or moderate dose of VX normally recover entirely. Those who are severely exposed Dumanbet are not likely to survive, according to the CDC.

Recovery from VX exposure is doable with remedy, which consists of removing the deadly toxin from the body as quickly as possible and providing health-related care in a hospital setting. An antidote can be administered by injection but it have to be made use of quickly to be successful, according to the CDC.

"It really is a really toxic nerve agent. Pretty, incredibly toxic," Dr. Bruce Goldberger, a top toxicologist who heads the forensic medicine division at the University of Florida, told the AP. "I'm intrigued that these two alleged assassins suffered no ill impact from exposure to VX. It is feasible that both of these women were provided the antidote."

ABC News’ Joohee Cho, Conor Finnegan, Benjamin Gittleson, Matt Gutman, Joshua Hoyos, Maureen Jeyasooriar, Luis Martinez and Joseph Simonetti contributed to this report. The Connected Press also contributed to this report.The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

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