KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's health minister said Sunday that the dose of nerve agent given to North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un's exiled half brother was so high that it killed him within 20 minutes and caused "very serious paralysis." Kim Jong Nam died Feb. 13 at Kuala Lumpur's airport in what Malaysian police say was a well-planned hit by two women who wiped a liquid on Kim's face. Police revealed Friday that the banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent was used to kill Kim, raising the stakes in the case. Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam said the dose of VX given to Kim was so high that he showed symptoms within minutes.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Was it a poorly executed assassination or did North Korea want to showcase its stockpile of banned chemical weapons? The use of the highly toxic VX warfare agent to kill the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader has raised questions about Pyongyang's real motives in one of the strangest killings the world has seen. Some say North Korea, in allegedly bringing a U.N.-classified weapon of mass destruction to kill a man at a busy international airport, intended to show the world what it can do with chemical weapons, which are easily forgotten amid concerns about the country's advancing nuclear missile technologies.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Key developments in the investigation into the killing of the North Korean leader's estranged half brother at Kuala Lumpur's airport on Feb. 13: HEALTH MINISTER: NERVE AGENT CAUSED FATAL PARALYSIS The discovery of the banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent on Kim Jong Nam's face and the hospital's autopsy result suggest a "chemical agent caused very serious paralysis" that led to his death "in a very short period of time," Malaysia's Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam said Sunday. Asked how long it took for Kim to die after he was attacked, Subramaniam said, "I would think it was about, from the time of onset, from the time of application, 15-20 minutes." Malaysia hasn't directly accused the North Korean government of being behind the attack, but officials have said four North Korean men provided two women with poison to carry it out.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A special investigation team is wrapping up its probe into a huge scandal involving impeached President Park Geun-hye after the country's acting leader refused to extend its investigation past a Tuesday deadline. Faced with massive street protests, Park was forced to approve the launch of the investigation team led by independent counsel Park Young-soo before she was impeached by parliament in December over allegations she colluded with her longtime confidante to extort money from companies. The team has since arrested a slew of high-profile figures, including former Park administration officials and Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong, in connection with the scandal.
A government official says at least nine Indian tourists drowned as a fishing boat sank during a joyride in the Bay of Bengal in southern India. Government administrator M. Ravi Kumar says the accident occurred on Sunday in high tide and the victims were without any safety equipment such as life jackets. Kumar said 11 people have been rescued and hospitalized in Tuticorin, a town in Tamil Nadu state. The accident occurred nearly 65 kilometres (40 miles) south off Tuticorin. Kumar said the fishing boat was hired for a ride in the Coromandel coast. Such accidents are common in India with many overcrowded boats without safety equipment.
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — U.S. security officers have yet to be authorized by President Donald Trump's administration to screen refugees held on Pacific islands for potential resettlement in the United States, an Australian official said on Monday. Trump has reluctantly agreed to honor an Obama administration deal to accept up to 1,250 refugees refused entry into Australia, but has said they will be subjected to "extreme vetting." Australia pays Nauru and Papua New Guinea to keep more than 2,000 asylum seekers — mostly from Iran, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka — in conditions condemned by rights groups. Mike Pezzullo, secretary of Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection, told a Senate committee that U.S.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — When Nguyen Thi Xuan said goodbye to her Japanese husband in 1954, she thought he was going off for a year or two on another long assignment. She never imagined it would be more than half a century before she'd see him again. Like many Vietnamese women married to Japanese soldiers, Xuan's family was split up, victimized by the stormy relationship between the countries. Today, the former foes enjoy strong bilateral ties, with Japan and Vietnam cooperating economically as well as in other areas, including defense and security. In a sign of just how far the relationship has come, several surviving widows and families of former Japanese soldiers — including Xuan — will have an opportunity to meet with Japanese Emperor Akihito when he visits Vietnam for the first time this week.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A Philippine senator and leading critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly crackdown on illegal drugs has petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify a Manila court's arrest warrant against her for drug charges and release her from jail. Sen. Leila de Lima's petition filed Monday says Judge Juanita Guerrero has no jurisdiction over the case. She says Guerrero committed a grave abuse by issuing the arrest warrant without first resolving her motion to quash the charges. Her lawyer, Alex Padilla, says an arrest warrant issued by a court without jurisdiction makes it null and without basis, and that de Lima's detention is illegal.
BEIJING (AP) — China is sending its first senior official to visit the United States since President Donald Trump took office, amid uncertainties over trade relations and new security tensions in east Asia. The Foreign Ministry said State Councilor Yang Jiechi was scheduled to "exchange views on bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern" in meetings with high-ranking U.S. officials during his visit on Monday and Tuesday. Yang is Chinese President Xi Jinping's top foreign policy adviser and a familiar face in Washington. He has served as foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S., presenting a degree of continuity in a relationship now seen as somewhat in flux.
BANGKOK (AP) — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves: ___ EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a weekly look at the latest developments in the South China Sea, home to several territorial conflicts that have raised tensions in the region. ___ US NAVY READIES MORE FREQUENT MISSIONS A U.S. administration official said the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group in the South China Sea, less than a month after President Donald Trump took office, signaled U.S.