01:32 GMT +322 October 2019
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    People watch a TV screen broadcasting a news report on the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the older half brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, February 14, 2017.

    Doctor: Kim Jong-nam's Soiled Underwear, Dilated Pupils Signs of Poisoning

    © REUTERS / Lim Se-young/News1
    Asia & Pacific
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    Testifying Monday in the trial of two women accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a Malaysian doctor said that the alleged victim's dilated pupils and soiled underwear point to signs of poisoning.

    "Based on our autopsy and the lab test results, the cause of death is acute nerve agent VX poisoning," Nurliza Abdullah, one of two government doctors who conducted the autopsy on Kim, told the courtroom.

    Though the doctor later agreed with the defense team's stance that the port-mortem exam was not enough to confirm that the poisonous agent was the sole cause of Kim's death, she noted the conclusion was based on tests that found traces of VX on Kim's face and body.

    The court session was cut short Monday when one of the prosecution's witnesses wasn't ready, AP reported. It will resume Tuesday.

    Siti Aisyah of Indonesia and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam are both accused of smearing Kim's face with the banned nerve agent when he was waiting to board a plane at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13. He died roughly two hours later.

    Both women claim they were tricked into believing that they were part of a prank for a TV show. If found guilty, they will receive death sentences.

    Though critics speculated North Korea was involved in the murder, Pyongyang has repeatedly shot down the accusations, writing it off as part of an aggressive campaign against North Korea's nuclear program.

    Deemed "the most potent of all nerve agents" by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, VX is also classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction. According to Inverse, the nerve agent destroys the nervous system, causing paralysis and eventually death by suffocation.


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