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Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia Confirms Identity of Suspect in Kim Jong-Nam Murder

Over the weekend, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the identity of Doan Thi Huong, one of the two primary suspects in the high-profile murder of Kim Jong-Nam, estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

According to VnExpress, officials from Vietnam’s embassy in Kuala Lumpur were able to hold a consular meeting with 28-year-old Huong and confirmed that she was in good health. The personal details previously released by Malaysian authorities matched her brother's description of Huong, who told the media she was from Nam Dinh province. According to local authorities, the news outlet reports, Huong has no previous criminal records.

Embassy representatives told the news source that Huong claimed she was tricked into participating in the act, believing the incident was a Just For Laughs-style prank meant for a comedy TV show.

Malaysia’s Ministry of Health also recently identified the poison used in the murder as VX nerve agent, a rare chemical weapon so potent that it took Jong-Nam’s life “within 15 to 20 minutes”, reports The Guardian.

“VX only requires 10mg to be absorbed into the system to be lethal, so I presume that the amount of dose that went in is more than that,” the country’s health minister, Subramaniam Sathasivam, said at a news conference, adding: “The doses were so high and it did it so fast and all over the body, so it would have affected his heart, it would have affected his lungs, it would have affected everything.”

During her time in custody, Indonesian suspect Siti Aishah, one of the two women who approached Jong-Nam at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, was also reportedly unwell, according to The Guardian. Local authorities are running tests to determine whether her illness is related to the chemical.

According to Indonesian officials, Aishah also claimed that she thought she was part of a TV program and denied knowing Huong beforehand. To take part in the “show”, she was paid about US$90 (400 Malaysian ringgit), reports ABC.

According to The Guardian, VX is an oily poison that is banned from production under international treaties. It was almost certainly produced in a facility with sophisticated equipment due to its highly toxic nature and the rarity of its ingredients, according to the news source.

[Photo via Soha]

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