Kim Jong-Nam had VX on face and clothes, trial hears

Kim Jong-Nam had VX on face and clothes, trial hears
PHOTO: Reuters

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia - Only a small amount of nerve agent - but more than enough to kill him - was found on the face of the North Korean leader's half-brother after he died in agony following an airport attack, a court heard Tuesday.

Kim Jong-Nam had 0.2 milligrams of VX per kilogram of body weight on his facial skin, well above the typical lethal dosage, chemist Raja Subramaniam told the trial of two women accused of his murder.

VX is so deadly it is listed by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction, and Kim died shortly after the attack as it overcame his nervous system.

Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, in their 20s, are accused of smearing the poison on Kim's face in February at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in a hit that stunned the world.

Kim Jong-nam murder trial: 2 women plead not guilty

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    Indonesian Siti Aisyah who is on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, is escorted as she leaves the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 3, 2017.

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    Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong who is on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, is escorted as she leaves the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 3, 2017.

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    Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah who are on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, are escorted as they leave the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 3, 2017.

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    Two women accused of assassinating the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with a banned nerve agent pleaded not guilty at the start of a high-profile murder trial in a Malaysian court

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    Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong, 28, a Vietnamese, are charged with killing Kim Jong Nam by smearing his face with VX, a chemical poison banned by the United Nations, at Kuala Lumpur's international airport on Feb. 13.

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    Both women wore bullet-proof vest as they were led into the court on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital. They face the death penalty if convicted.

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    The women have pleaded not guilty, saying they thought they were involved in some sort of prank for a reality TV show.

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    Police cars transporting Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, who are accused of killing Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, arrive at the Shah Alam High Court on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 2, 2017.

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    Journalists wait to enter the Shah Alam High Court, where Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 2, 2017.

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    Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Rusdi Kirana speaks to journalists at the Shah Alam High Court, where Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong are on trial for the killing of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia October 2, 2017.

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    Hisyam Teh Toh Teik, one of the lawyers for Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong, speaks to journalists during a break in the trial for Huong and Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah, at the Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 2, 2017, for their alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

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    Hisyam Teh Toh Teik, Salim Bashir and Naran Singh, lawyers for Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong, speak to journalists during a break in the trial for Huong and Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah, at the Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 2, 2017, for their alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

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    Gooi Soon Seng, a lawyer for Indonesian defendant Siti Aisyah, walks out during a break in the trial of Aisyah and Vietnamese woman Doan Thi Huong at the Shah Alam High Court in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 2, 2017, for their alleged role in the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The women, who were arrested a few days after the killing and face death by hanging if convicted, have pleaded not guilty to murdering the estranged half-brother of Kim Jong-Un as he waited to board a flight to Macau.

On Tuesday Raja outlined to the Shah Alam High Court near Kuala Lumpur how much VX was found on Kim's face.

Asked if it was enough to kill, he responded: "I can't give a direct answer to this. Based on concentration estimate, it is about 1.4 times the lethal dosage." He said that VX was also found on the collar of Kim's blazer and its sleeves, which he likely used to wipe his face after the attack.

Raja previously testified that VX was found on the defendants' clothing, the first evidence linking them directly to the poison.

On Monday the trial visited a high-security laboratory to examine the poison-tainted clothes worn by the women on the day of the attack.

The defendants say they were duped into believing they were taking part in a prank for a reality TV show, and their lawyers blame North Korean agents for the assassination.

The murder sparked a fierce row between Malaysia and North Korea, which is suspected of ordering the hit. Pyongyang denies the allegation.

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