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Traces of VX nerve agent found on suspects in murder of Kim’s half-brother: report

A chemist reportedly said in a Malaysian court on Thursday that he found VX nerve agent on two women accused of assassinating the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un earlier this year.

Raja Subramaniam, the head of Malaysia's Center of Chemical Weapon Analysis, testified that both pure VX and a precursor of the nerve agent were found on the jumpsuit of Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese woman on trial for the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam, according to The Associated Press.

A degraded product of VX was also found on Huong's fingernails.

 

Subramaniam also said that a degraded VX product was found on the shirt of Siti Aisyah, an Indonesian woman who is also charged in the killing. 

Aisyah and Huong are accused of smearing the banned nerve agent on the face of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea's current leader, at a airport in Kuala Lumpur in February. 

"The presence of VX precursors and VX degradation products confirms the presence of VX itself," Subramaniam said. 

Both women have pleaded not guilty to the charges, arguing that they were misled into thinking they were playing a prank for a hidden-camera television show. 

In his testimony on Thursday, Subramaniam said that rubbing VX on an individual's eyes and neck would be a more efficient way of killing that person than splashing the nerve agent on them. 

The North Korean government is widely believed to be behind the assassination. Kim was the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, but was exiled from the reclusive country after he fell out of favor with his father. 

His younger brother, Kim Jong Un, took power in 2011. Kim Jong Un reportedly saw his older brother as a threat. 

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