Deadly turn

  • North Korea constantly reminds the world that it is in the hands of an unpredictable, dangerous ruler
- Straits' Times

Mar 8, 2017-

The public assassination of the estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un marks a new level of recklessness that should worry the world. The women charged with the murder of Kim Jong Nam used one of the deadliest of poisons, the nerve agent VX, to neutralise him as he was checking in for a budget flight to Macau. The brazen act shook people around the world because of the seeming ease with which purported agents of a rogue state could strike outside its borders. Another revelation was the Indonesian and Vietnamese nationalities of the alleged attackers covertly recruited for the attack. 

For more than a year, North Korea has been reminding the world that it is in the hands of an unpredictable ruler presiding over the march of a dangerous nuclear weapons programme and delivery systems. Kim Jong Un has been working towards an ability to hit California. What is more, Kim has been regularly eliminating enemies at home. 

The murder in KL serves as warning of the perils of regarding Kim as a mere fly in the ointment. Since assassins had full knowledge of their target’s movements, choosing a public spot for the killing was a deliberate statement of menace. Secondly, those who ordered it clearly had no compunction putting dozens of other travellers in grave danger. Pulling in nationals of third countries for the mission reveals a fearsome capacity to penetrate distant societies. A final, sobering caution is that North Korea may be abusing diplomatic privileges for its sinister campaigns.

Published: 08-03-2017 08:35

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