Last updated: March 23, 2018

US slaps more sanctions on North Korea 'for using VX nerve agent to kill Kim Jong-nam' in Malaysia

US slaps more sanctions on North Korea 'for using VX nerve agent to kill Kim Jong-nam' in MalaysiaThe United States formally concluded on Tuesday that North Korea ordered the murder of a half-brother and potential rival to ruler Kim Jong-un with the VX nerve agent. The North Korean leader's estranged half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was killed at the airport in Kuala Lumpur in February last year when two women smeared his face with the banned chemical weapons agent VX.  Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement the US government made the determination on February 22 under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. Additional sanctions on Pyongyang went into effect on March 5 after the finding was formally published, she said. "This public display of contempt for universal norms against chemical weapons use further demonstrates the reckless nature of North Korea and underscores that we cannot afford to tolerate a North Korean WMD programme of any kind," Ms Nauert said on Tuesday. The fresh layer of US economic sanctions against Pyongyang came just as South Korea reported that the regime is ready for talks to end a nuclear standoff. Malaysian police have long said Mr Kim was killed as a result of being exposed to the VX nerve agent.  It was reveled in December that Mr Kim was carrying vials of the antidote to the toxin but he didn't use it. Testifying before a high court in the city, a Malaysian government toxicologist said Mr Kim had 12 doses of atropine in his carry-on luggage when he was approached by two women who smeared the nerve agent onto his face. Kim Jong-un | A history of executions – family, allies and rivals Doan Thi Huong, a 29-year-old Vietnamese national, and Siti Aisyah, 25, from Indonesia, have pleaded not guilty of the murder of Mr Kim, who was returning to his home in Macau and travelling on a passport in the name of Kim Chol. North Korea has denied arranging the killing of Mr Kim. 

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