Autopsy results on Kim Jong Nam suggest he was killed by "very serious paralysis" due to a lethal nerve agent, Malaysia's health minister said yesterday, as the airport terminal where he was assassinated was given the all-clear.
The estranged half-brother of the North Korean leader would have died quickly, Health Minister S. Subramaniam added.
Malaysia revealed that the 45-year- old victim was killed with the VX nerve agent, which is so deadly it is listed by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.
Police are holding two women suspected of staging the attack as well as a North Korean man.
They want to speak to seven other North Koreans, including a senior embassy official, but four of the suspects fled Malaysia on the day of the murder.
Both women suspected of carrying out the attack insisted they thought they were taking part in a prank video, although Malaysian police have said they knew what they were doing.
One of the two female suspects in custody, 25-year-old Indonesian Siti Aisyah, reportedly told a senior diplomat she had been paid just 400 ringgit (HK$700) for her role, adding she believed she was handling a liquid like "baby oil."
The other woman, Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, 28, told Hanoi officials she had been tricked into killing Kim and thought she was taking part in a prank for a comedy video.