Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, February 24, 2017

Big Surprise on North Korean Assassination--- Not!

The substance used in the killing of Kim Jong-nam was a “VX nerve agent”, a highly toxic liquid used only in chemical warfare, Malaysian police have said.

The inspector general, Khalid Abu Bakar, said later that one of the two women suspected of involvement in the poisoning also suffered its effects: “She was vomiting.”

The findings follow a preliminary analysis of swabs taken from the face and eyes of the victim, who is the half-brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. More items linked to the attack at Kuala Lumpur airport were still being analysed and the terminal would be decontaminated, police said.
That pretty much makes it clear why the North Koreans were objecting to Kim's body being autopsied.

VX isn't exactly the sort of stuff that one buys at the local Agway for use as a pesticide. No doubt that a skilled chemist could synthesize some, but other than fanciful technothrillers, why would somebody, other than a state-sanctioned killer would go to all that trouble when it would be so much simpler to use more traditional methods of assassination. It's possible that the North Koreans believed that they could strong-arm the Malaysians into coughing up the body without any investigation.

Bad bet, that.


bearsense said...

"Coughing up the body?" Well Done !

CenterPuke88 said...

Yea, they had the nerve to object to a autopsy and then had some agents try to break into the morgue...sounds like the CIA attempts on Castro type stuff.

bmq215 said...

I still don't quite get it. Why would they send someone with VX and then try so hard to cover it up? As you point out there are so many simpler, more traditional methods. VX is needlessly complicated and has almost no deniability.

Either something else is going on here or the DPRK is even less of a rational actor than we thought.

CenterPuke88 said...

Why do you execute with AA guns or dogs? VX would have been ideal if he hadn't complained immediately, maybe they assumed he would delay a few minutes? VX is an extremely stable, oil-based liquid, and good for the method they used...other than being extremely risky to their user, but maybe that was the idea. It is also possible that they simply panicked and needed to prevent his return to an area of Chinese influence and had to act quickly.

Comrade Misfit said...

CP88, you execute with dogs or AA guns or mortars for reasons of classical terror. Same reason you execute the families of those suspected of disloyalty.

The opposite argument of "why VX" may also be for reasons of internal terror. That would be the same rationale for using polonium-210 to kill Alexander Litvinenko-- a sign that "we can get to you anywhere" and with a method that, while not proving the case, leaves little doubt who ordered the hit. It may never be proved, but it surely will be known throughout the NK elites that Kim Jong-un ordered the hit on his brother, and if he had no problem having his brother killed, he'll have no problem having any of them killed.

CenterPuke88 said...

Agreed on the reasons for the AA guns/dogs.

Not sure anyone is North Korea had any issues assuming he would kill anyone after the last couple of purges.

Maybe they decided they couldn't poison him radioactively, so a similar WMD would be a nice touch? I also suspect the lady they hired was expected to die as well...