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Kim Jong-nam killing: Suspect 'was paid $90 for baby oil prank'

BBC News logo BBC News 25/02/2017
Siti Aisyah "met some people who looked Japanese or Korean", Indonesian officials said © EPA Siti Aisyah "met some people who looked Japanese or Korean", Indonesian officials said

An Indonesian woman arrested for the murder of the half-brother of North Korea's leader has said she was given 400 Malaysian ringgits ($90) to carry out a prank.

Indonesian embassy officials met Siti Aisyah on Saturday in the Malaysian capital.

She said she was given the cash to smear Kim Jong-nam's face with "baby oil" as part of a reality show joke.

Tests show Mr Kim was killed with the highly toxic nerve agent VX.

It is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

Mr Kim died last week after two women accosted him briefly in a check-in hall at a Kuala Lumpur airport.

There is widespread suspicion that North Korea was behind the attack, which it strongly denies.

Three people have been arrested for the murder, while at least seven other suspects are wanted by police, including four North Korean men.

After a 30-minute meeting with Siti Aisyah on Saturday, Indonesian Deputy Ambassador Andreano Erwin said: "She only said in general that somebody asked her to do this activity. She only said in general she met with some people who looked Japanese or Korean.

"According to her, that person gave her 400 ringgits to do this activity... She only said she was given a kind of oil, like baby oil."

The officials said they did not see any physical signs that the suspect had been affected by the chemical.

What is the deadly VX nerve agent?

VX nerve agent, molecular model.: Molecular model of VX nerve agent shows atoms represented as spheres © Science Photo Library Molecular model of VX nerve agent shows atoms represented as spheres

  • The most potent of the known chemical warfare agents, it is a clear, amber-coloured, oily liquid which is tasteless and odourless
  • Works by penetrating the skin and disrupting the transmission of nerve impulses - a drop on the skin can kill in minutes. Lower doses can cause eye pain, blurred vision, drowsiness and vomiting
  • It can be disseminated in a spray or vapour when used as a chemical weapon, or used to contaminate water, food, and agricultural products
  • VX can be absorbed into the body by inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, or eye contact
  • Clothing can carry VX for about 30 minutes after contact with the vapour, which can expose other people
  • Banned by the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention

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