The reports emerging from the investigation into the assassination of Kim Jong-nam in Malaysia suggest a hair-raising aspect of an already unsettling matter.

Kim Jong-nam

Kim Jong-nam

Two women dressed as ordinary tourists attacked the half-brother of current Supreme Leader of the hermit state North Korea. The operation was so smooth and cleverly orchestrated that the assailants left the scene after the assassination without being stopped, or even raising the faintest of alarm.

Malaysian investigators have now revealed that the women assassins sprayed Kim Jong-nam with a strong nerve agent, a kind which is classified by the United Nations as a deadly Weapon of Mass Destruction.

The attack took place almost two weeks ago on February 13, during the busy hours inside Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur airport. Two young women approached the eldest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, and sprayed him with an odourless, tasteless liquid: a nerve agent that rendered Kim Jong-nam senseless within minutes and killed him shortly after.

The initial autopsy carried out by the authorities did not prove to be conclusive, amid a tirade of objections from North Korean authorities. North Korea promptly dismissed the allegations and reports of autopsy, deeming the autopsy a disrespect towards the deceased. However, a subsequent and detailed autopsy revealed chilling results and concluded that highly toxic chemical known as VX, had been used by the attackers during the assassination.

What is VX nerve agent?

VX nerve agentVX (Venomous Agent X) is considered in the chemical world as arguably the deadliest nerve agent ever created by man. It was produced, some say by accident, in the 1950’s by some British scientists who were conducting experiments on strong pesticides. Scientist were absolutely stunned on the toxicity of the VX nerve agent and since then it has been classified as amongst the deadliest WMDs around.

VX is a smooth killer, it attacks the body’s nervous system rendering it practically crippled within seconds causing death in minutes; by shutting down the nervous system and stopping the respiration process. The fact that North Korea currently possesses the world’s largest stockpiles of VX, is alarming to the nth degree.

VX is not considered an expensive WMD, therefore North Korean authorities and leadership driven by sheer hatred and vengeance for anything and everything western, considers VX as a very effective weapon in case of an invasion by American forces. Iraq is also believed to have used the VX nerve agent on a Kurdish town in 1988 during the Iran-Iraq conflict.

A Short History of WMDs

Before all hell broke loose in March 2003 when US-led forces invaded Iraq with all guns blazing, very few people outside the academic circles had heard the term WMD or Weapons of Mass Destruction. To be more precise, the false narrative that US government at the time in coalition with Tony Blair’s cabinet in the U.K. perpetuated the theme of WMD presence in Iraq. These world leaders that many consider today as a duo of war criminals, through their speeches and press conferences, spoke of the horrors of WMDs and drove the world into a frenzy of uncertainty and fear, and eventually into a war which is still wreaking havoc around the globe.

It is not an easy matter to precisely pinpoint a time in the history of human civilization as when humans started deploying toxic chemicals against enemies. However, it is believed that the story of Hercules dipping his arrows in the venom of Lemaen Hydra, to make them more effective and deadly, was inspired by the use of such tactics in real life warfare and conflicts as well.

Homer, in his epic poem The Iliad, spoke extensively about the usage of poison in the Greek warfare. Homer wrote about the poisonous arrows used by the Greek Army under the leadership of Odysseus; needless to say that Achilles was also said to have been killed by a poison-dipped arrow shot at his heel.

The next mention of poison arrows in warfare comes from India when Alexander the Great’s soldiers fought against the Harmatelians. These were warriors, living in the region now called Mansura, a part of modern day Pakistan. Adamant to defend their lands against the foreign invaders, Harmatelian archers rained arrows dipped in cobra venom on Alexander’s army.

The mass scale use of poisonous chemicals that later gained the infamy as WMDs or Weapons of Mass destruction, was used by Germany during the First World War in the Second Battle of Ypres on April 22, 1915. German strategists authorized the use of Mustard gas during the Battle of Passchendaele on July 12, 1917. The deadly nature of these attacks was so apparent and horrendous that powerful armies all around the world sought to acquire this ability and it did not take them too long to manufacture all sorts of chemical weapons on an industrial scale.