Malaysian police said they would raid the Kuala Lumpur airport terminal where they killed the brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, searching for traces of the neurotoxic substance they believe was used in the attack.
“Agents from the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear divisions, as well as the hazardous materials units of the firefighters and the atomic energy board will be used”, police said.
Since the Feb. 13 attack, thousands of passengers have passed through the airport. There were no areas closed to the public and no protective measures were taken, although authorities announced Friday that they would decontaminate the facilities.
Meanwhile, the Indonesian woman suspected of killing Kim Jong Nam said “she was paid $90 for collaborating on what she thought was a joke”, a Malaysian official said on Saturday.
Siti Aisyah also told authorities she “did not want her parents to be detained”, said Andriano Erwin, Indonesia’s deputy foreign minister in Malaysia, after meeting with the girl for 30 minutes. The Malaysian police revealed that the North Korean’s strange murder was the result of using agent VX.
“She does not want her family to be saddened by seeing her in this state,” Erwin said after the meeting. “She just sent a message to the father and mother through us so they do not worry.”
The poisoning of Kim Jong Nam, amidst a crowd of passengers at Kuala Lumpur Airport’s low-cost flight terminal on Feb. 13, appeared to be a well-rehearsed aggression. Kim died hours after the attack in which the two women approached him from behind and seemed to rub something in his face.
Aisyah, 25, said “she was tricked to participate in the assault”, but Malaysian police say “she and the other detainee, a Vietnamese woman knew what they were doing”.
The revelation about the use of VX neurotoxin raised speculation about whether Pyongyang sent two assassins to end the life of Kim Jong Nam, who is a brother of Kim Jong Un’s father and had been away from the family for years.
Nerve agent VX, banned by international treaties, has the consistency of motor oil and would almost certainly have been crafted in a state-of-the-art weapons laboratory, according to experts. North Korea, a leading suspect in the case, has never signed such agreements and has been developing a complex chemical weapons program for decades.
Although Kim Jong Nam was not a clear political threat to his brother, he could have been considered a potential rival in the country’s dynastic dictatorship.
Malaysia did not directly accuse the Pyongyang government of being behind the attack, but officials said “it was North Korean men who gave the neurotoxin to the women”. The four suspects left the country shortly after the incident.
Meanwhile, Malaysian police confirmed on Saturday that a search carried out this week outside the Malaysian capital was part of the investigation. Police chief Abdul Samah Mat, who leads the investigation, did not say what the authorities had found but said the articles were being scanned for the remains of any chemical.