| KUALA LUMPUR
KUALA LUMPUR Feb 26 Malaysia on Sunday declared
its international airport a "safe zone" after completing a sweep
of the terminal where the estranged half-brother of North Korean
leader Kim Jong Un was assaulted with a deadly chemical last
Kim Jong Nam died on Feb. 13 after being smothered at the
airport's budget terminal with VX nerve agent, classified by the
United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.
The police forensic team, fire department and Atomic Energy
Licensing Board swept the budget terminal of Kuala Lumpur
International Airport (KLIA2) at 1 a.m. on Feb. 26 (1700 GMT on
"We confirm, number one, there is no hazardous material
found in KLIA2, number two, KLIA2 is free from any form of
contamination of hazardous material and thirdly, KLIA2 is
declared a safe zone," Abdul Samat Mat, the police chief of
Selangor state who is leading the investigation, told reporters
at the airport.
The location of the assault was cordoned off during the
sweep but the rest of the terminal remained open. Since the
incident, tens of thousands of people have passed through the
terminal, with the location of the assault remaining accessible.
Security camera footage released by Japanese broadcaster
Fuji TV showed the moment two women assaulted Kim Jong Nam with
a cloth authorities suspect was laced with the nerve agent.
In later clips Kim is seen asking airport officials for
medical help, and rubbing his eyes and stumbling as he entered
an airport clinic. Airport authorities said he complained of
dizziness and died on the way to hospital.
Authorities have said there have been no anomalies in
medical cases reported at the clinic since the incident. They
also said medical staff at the clinic are in good health.
The two women - one Indonesian and one Vietnamese - have
been detained, along with a North Korean man.
Seven other North Koreans have been identified as suspects
or are wanted for questioning, four of whom have since left for
Pyongyang, police said.
Police are also sweeping other locations in Kuala Lumpur
that suspects may have visited.
Police chief Abdul Samah earlier on Saturday said
authorities raided an apartment in an upscale Kuala Lumpur
suburb earlier this week in connection with the death, and were
checking for any traces of unusual chemicals in the apartment.
Kim Jong Nam, who has been living in exile with his family
in Macau under Chinese protection, had spoken publicly in the
past against his family's dynastic control of the isolated,
South Korean and U.S. officials said he was assassinated by
North Korean agents. North Korea has not acknowledged his death.
Malaysia's health minister Subramaniam Sathasivam said at a
press conference on Sunday that autopsy findings were consistent
with police reports showing Kim was killed by VX.
The minister said the chemical caused "serious paralysis
which led to the death of the person in such a short period of
The Indonesian attacker, Siti Aishah, was reported to be
unwell, possibly due to contact with the chemical.
Subramaniam said authorities were running tests to ascertain
whether Siti was affected by the chemical.
Malaysia is considering shutting its embassy in Pyongyang or
expelling North Korea's envoy as tensions escalate over the
It said it may issue an arrest warrant for a North Korean
diplomat wanted for questioning over the case but said
"reasonable" time will be given for the diplomat to come forward
before further action.
The diplomat is not known to have met the police yet.
(Reporting by Joseph Sipalan and Angie Teo; Writing by Praveen
Menon; Ediitng by Christopher Cushing)