US: North Korea Used Chemical Agent to Kill Kim's Half Brother

Additional sanctions have been imposed against Pyongyang
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2018 12:01 AM CST
Updated Mar 7, 2018 12:33 AM CST
US: North Korea Used Chemical Agent to Kill Kim's Half-Brother
This combination of file photos shows Kim Jong Nam, left, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in Narita, Japan, on May 4, 2001, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on May 9, 2016, in Pyongyang.   (AP Photos/Shizuo Kambayashi, Wong Maye-E, File)

The US has imposed additional sanctions on North Korea after determining the country used chemical weapons to assassinate Kim Jong Un's estranged half brother in Malaysia last year, Reuters reports. Kim Jong Nam died after two women smeared his face with the banned nerve agent VX in the Kuala Lumpur airport; they say they thought they were pranking him for a TV show. North Korea denies involvement.

"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 program of any kind," said a State Department spokesperson in announcing the sanctions Tuesday. The BBC notes the sanctions are "largely symbolic, joining a vast array of punitive economic measures" Washington has already taken against Pyongyang. (Read more Kim Jong Nam stories.)

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