Malaysian police reported that Kim Jong-nam, half-brother of the lunatic ruler of North Korea Kim Jong Un, was killed by VX nerve agent. VX is listed as a chemical weapon and banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention, of which North Korea is, of course, not a signatory.
The New York Times noted that most global stockpiles of VX have been destroyed since 1997.
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Let us put this in perspective. In 2003, President George W. Bush justified the invasion of Iraq by citing the consensus opinion of western intelligence agencies that Saddam Hussein maintained a stockpile of WMD, mostly chemical weapons. Hussein was documented to have used mustard gas in 1983 and the nerve agents Sarin and Tabun in 1988, killing up to 5,000 Kurd civilians.
VX is nasty stuff, and for a nuclear state like North Korea, it’s not hard to make. In fact, the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo used VX to carry out murders before their attempted mass killings using Sarin in the Tokyo subway. But just because a cult (albeit a rich cult) can manufacture nerve agents doesn’t absolve a nation state from responsibility and give the U.S. a pass to ignore its use.
That’s like saying that just because Timothy McVeigh could knock down a federal building in Oklahoma City using a fertilizer bomb, that the U.S. shouldn’t respond if Iran did it in Abu Dhabi to an American company.
Of course, America is not the World Police. We can’t go out and punish every nation that breaks a weapons treaty–the Soviets Russians have been breaking the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty since 2008. But the Norks have crossed a red line implied by Trump himself when he tweeted that Kim Jong Un’s plan to deploy nuclear-capable ICBMs “won’t happen.”Read the rest from Steve Berman HERE.
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