ReutersGENEVA/KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) — South Korea called for “collective measures” to punish North Korea for using chemical weapons to kill the estranged half-brother of its leader Kim Jong Un, as Malaysia said on Tuesday it would charge two women with murder over the airport attack.
Police have said the women smeared VX nerve agent, a chemical on a United Nations list of banned weapons of mass destruction, on Kim Jong Nam’s face in an assault captured on security cameras in the Malaysian capital’s airport on Feb. 13.
U.S. and South Korean officials believe he was the victim of an assassination orchestrated by Pyongyang. North Korea said on Tuesday it “categorically rejects” what it called “fictitious and preposterous assumptions.”
Speaking at the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva on Tuesday, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se said the use of chemical weapons was a “wake-up call” and the international community should act — including possibly suspending the isolated North’s seat at the United Nations.
“Many international media pointed out that North Korea’s use of chemical weapons for the targeted killing in a third country sent a very clear message to the world,” South Korea’s Yun told the Geneva forum.
“Namely this impulsive, unpredictable, trigger-happy and brutal regime is ready and willing to strike anyone, anytime, anywhere.”