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," the AP reports. 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. Kim fainted at the airport clinic and died in the ambulance while en route to a hospital, he said. Per the Washington Post, Subramaniam said Kim suffered a "very painful death."
"VX only requires 10 milligrams to be absorbed into the system to be lethal, so I presume that the amount of dose that went in is more than that," he said at a news conference. "The doses were so high and it did it so fast and all over the body, so it would have affected his heart, it would have affected his lungs, it would have affected everything." 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." He said Kim's symptoms appeared "within a few minutes" of the attack. 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. The four men fled Malaysia on the same day as the killing, while the women—one from Indonesia and the other Vietnamese—were arrested. North Korea has denied any role in the attack.