South Korea suggests North's suspension from U.N. over airport killing

NNA – South Korea called for “collective measures” to punish North Korea for using chemical weapons to kill the estranged half-brother of its leader Kim Jong Un, as Malaysia said on Tuesday it would charge two women with murder over the airport attack.

Police have said the women smeared VX nerve agent, a chemical on a United Nations list of banned weapons of mass destruction, on Kim Jong Nam’s face in an assault captured on security cameras in the Malaysian capital’s airport on Feb. 13.

Speaking at the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament (CD) in Geneva on Tuesday, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said the use of chemical weapons was a “wake-up call” and the international community should act – including possibly suspending the isolated North’s seat at the United Nations.

Malaysian police arrested a Vietnamese woman, Doan Thi Huong, and an Indonesian, Siti Aishah, in the days after the attack.

Both women will be formally charged on Wednesday under section 302 of the penal code, which carries the death penalty, Malaysia’s attorney general, Mohamed Apandi Ali, confirmed to Reuters in a text message.

“Just a few grams of VX is sufficient for mass killing,” Yun said.

Once the Malaysian government releases the results of its investigation, the U.N. Security Council and state parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention should take up the case as a “high priority agenda”, Yun said.

States that have ratified the chemical weapons ban could invoke the treaty and “take collective measures”, he added.

“It could take the form of suspension of North Korea’s rights and privileges as a U.N. member,” he said.–Reuters

===================L.Y