In­side an as­sas­si­na­tion

Tampa Bay Times - - Opinion -

In GQ, Doug Bock Clark tells the true spy thriller of how “two women had the most au­da­cious task. Killing the brother of the North Korean leader. Right out in the open, us­ing deadly chem­i­cal weapons in an in­ter­na­tional air­port.” Read “The Un­told Story of Kim Jong Nam’s As­sas­si­na­tion” in full at Here’s an ex­cerpt.

As Jong Nam saun­tered to­ward the clos­est AirAsia self-check-in kiosk at 8:59 a.m. on Feb. 13, an In­done­sian woman in stylishly torn jeans and a gray sleeve­less top slipped out from be­hind a pil­lar. She covered his eyes as if play­ing peek­a­boo and then wiped her hands over his mouth, leav­ing an oily smear.

“Who are you?” Jong Nam de­manded.

“Sorry! Sorry!” she an­swered be­fore dis­ap­pear­ing into the crowd.

A sec­ond later, a Viet­namese woman wear­ing a white jumper em­bla­zoned with LOL threw her arms over his shoul­ders and rubbed her hands across his face. She apol­o­gized, too, be­fore hur­ry­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion of the In­done­sian woman.

Al­ready, the liq­uid that the women had ap­plied was seep­ing into Jong Nam, rapidly jam­ming his mus­cles’ re­cep­tors in the “on” po­si­tion, caus­ing his mus­cles to con­stantly con­tract as if struck by end­less cramps. The liq­uid was VX, a chem­i­cal weapon that the CDC calls the “most po­tent of all nerve agents” and that the United Na­tions clas­si­fies as a weapon of mass de­struc­tion. He ab­sorbed a lethal dose, which could have been as small as a drop.

Jong Nam started to­ward the bath­room — and then lost his only chance to wash off the poi­son and sur­vive when he rerouted to a nearby in­for­ma­tion desk. There, he moaned in English, “Very painful,

very painful, I was sprayed liq­uid.”

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