Malaysia vows to bring perpetrators of VX nerve agent attack to justice

Monday, 6 March 2017

Malaysia said on Friday that it will cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to bring the perpetrators of the VX nerve agent attack at the Kuala Lumpur airport to justice.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Malaysia “does not produce, stockpile, import, export or use any” toxic weapons listed in the convention concerning prohibition of the chemical weapons.

The ministry said it strongly condemns the use of the VX nerve agent by anyone, anywhere and under any circumstances. “Its use at a public place could have endangered the general public,” it said.

While the police have identified the poison used in the attack, which led to the death of a man from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), as VX nerve agent, how the material was made or whether it was imported from outside Malaysia remains a mystery.

The visiting DPRK delegation in Malaysia queried the use of VX nerve agent on Thursday, insisting the DPRK man died of heart disease and asking the Malaysian side to hand over samples of the chemical to OPCW in The Hague.

The statement did not say whether Malaysia will send samples to OPCW, but said the organization has provided Malaysia with some technical materials to assist in its investigation.

Meanwhile, a DPRK suspect arrested after the killing was transported by the police to the immigration authorities on Friday morning. Malaysia’s attorney general said earlier the man, Ri Jong Chol, will be released due to a lack of evidence and will be deported because his travel documents have expired.