State Department confirms North Korea used lethal nerve agent to kill the half-brother of Kim Jong-un

Police operate strict controls at the Sepang Court Complex during the high profile murder of Kim Jong Nam  Sepang  Malaysia

Source: © abdul hafiz ab hamid / Shutterstock

Police cordon outside the court where two women are being tried in Malaysia for the murder of Kim Jong-nam using the nerve agent VX

The US State Department has said that the North Korean government used the lethal nerve agent VX to assassinate the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Malaysia last year and has responded by imposing further sanctions on the country. Jong-un’s estranged half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, died in Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia in February 2017, after an attack with VX.

The US formally determined on 22 February that North Korea was responsible for Jong-nam’s death, and the new sanctions took effect on 5 March. These are on top of existing US sanctions ‘targeting unlawful North Korean activities’, said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert. She called the assassination a ‘public display of contempt for universal norms against chemical weapons use’, and said it further demonstrates North Korea’s recklessness.