Fox News has a video showing the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, who is Kim Jong Un’s half brother, in the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia airport here. A woman walked behind him, placed something over his head that was apparently doused with a nerve agent, according to police.
That such a hit would happen in a modern airport with modern security is shocking. While living in Minneapolis, I actually knew a few people who had done business travel in Malaysia. But it is also known that Al Qaeda had done a planning session in Malaysia in early 2001.
Nerve agents are considered WMD’s by the UN. The material could be similar to Sarin, which was used in a subway attack in Japan in 1995.
But later reports indicated that the material may be VX, an oily substance 100 times as powerful as Sarin. It is odorless and can be mixed from ingredients at the site of an attack. It is hard to imagine how putting one drop of a substance on the external uncompromised skin can be deadly. It causes acetylcholine to not work. so involuntary muscle contractions are disrupted. It's almost like a tumbling effect, or a prion, or converting matter to grey goo from a strangelet.
Bivouac training in US Army Basic in 1968 included use of protective masks against tear gas, chlorine, and possibly nerve gas. Most of us don't recall the use of chemical weapons, like phosgene, during WWI.
If such an attack could occur in a modern Asian city, it could occur in the West or even in the US -- using one of the world's deadliest toxins (besides polonium). This idea is not lost on Vladimir Putin.
This must be disturbing to the TSA.
Also, today, the New York Times has a particularly detailed and chilling analysis of North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons program here.
Wikipedia attribution link of Petronas Mall by Torrissen under CCSA 3.0.