Kuala Lumpur: VX, the chemical used in the airport murder of Kim Jong Nam, is one of the deadliest chemical weapons created by mankind. Just 10 mg of the nerve agent or a single drop is enough to kill in minutes, experts say.
» Its full chemical name is S-2 Diisoprophylaminoethyl methylphosphonothiolate.
» It severely disrupts the body's nervous system and is used as a nerve agent in chemical warfare.
» With the texture and feel of engine oil, VX was first produced in the United Kingdom in the 1950s.
» Its only known use is as a chemical warfare agent.
» VX is classified as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.
» Roughly 1/100th of a gram - one third of a drop - on someone’s skin, will kill them, says Bruce Bennet, defense researcher at California-based RAND Corporation.
» VX is considered to be much more toxic by entry through the skin and toxic by inhalation.
» Any visible VX liquid contact on the skin, unless washed off immediately, is believed to be lethal.
» The person may not even know he has been exposed to VX as it is tasteless and odourless.
» Symptoms after contact with VX in vapour form will appear within a few seconds, and within a few minutes to up to 18 hours after exposure to the liquid form.
» It can cause convulsions, loss of consciousness, paralysis and respiratory failure in minutes.
» VX is known to be much more potent than other nerve agent because of its persistency.
» Unlike other chemical weapons, the VX doesn't evaporates from the skin surface.
» It is unlikely to be detected by airport security or sensors if it had been brought in small amounts.
» The chemical is hard to produce.
» The United States and Russia still have some VX stockpile.
» South Korean analysts have identified sarin and VX as the focus of a North Korean chemical weapons program. However, North Korean authorities have denied the allegations.
Known use of VX:
» VX and other nerve agents were believed to have been used in chemical warfare during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.
» In 2015, traces of VX and sarin - another nerve agent - were found at a military research site in Syria. However, it had not been declared to the global chemical weapons watchdog.
» Sarin gas was used in Syria, killing hundreds in deadly attacks in 2013.
» Sarin gas was also used by members of a Japanese doomsday cult in their deadly 1995 attack on a Tokyo subway.