|(Photo: PIR Center)|
When Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in London at a tea house with polonium that could only have come from the Russian government or military, people were shocked and upset. When Litvinenko fell ill and was hospitalized, and polonium was eventually discovered as the cause, law enforcement and the medical establishment realized that not only was a man poisoned and murdered, but a swath of innocent people in a foreign land were exposed as well. Everyone from the people in the plane that transported the polonium from Russia, to those in the tea house, those in the tube train, those walking down to street, in addition to the physicians and nurses in the hospital, were all exposed. This is why such an action should not be forgotten. Litvinenko was actually a British subject at the time of his killing. Whomever killed Litvinenko didn't care that citizens in another land might die as well.
Two weeks ago, Kim Jong Nam, the elder brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, was similarly murdered. VX Nerve gas has been found on his face and on his eyes on autopsy. Four presumed North Korean agents are said to have placed the VX on his face as he walked through the airport in Kuala Lampur in Malaysia. Minutes later he died in an ambulance on the way to a hospital. One of the attackers began vomiting presumably due to exposure to the agent, despite the fact that she tried to wash it off her hands in a bathroom.
Since Kim Jong Nam was actually the elder brother, and had wanted to ease toward democracy in North Korea, had he ever become it's leader, his father, Kim Jong Il, decided to make Kim Jong Un his successor. The elder Kim Jong Nam was a close as North Korea would ever have had to a reformer. His father had wanted this beloved brother to be left alone. Kim Jong Nam therefore spent a lot of time in university in Switzerland, and learning about technology. Most recently he was living in China and took fairly frequent trips to Malaysia. He traveled often and was the father of a number of children.
Once again, N. Korea, strongly felt to be the body who ordered this hit, thought nothing of exposing those in a foreign land to the most dangerous chemical weapon known to man. This should have implications for any nation that had even polite relations with N. Korea.
A new dimension to terrorism has begun. The use of chemical and radiological weapons as a means to completing a hit have been acceptable now to two nations. Such actions, if continued, are likely to impact the innocent as well. VX can be delivered to thousands in a number of ways. Neither of these killings should be forgotten. Such weapons exist and there are those on Earth who will not hesitate to use them.