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> While addressing a spellbound audience of young officers, he would sometimes partially immerse one finger in a small beaker of pure VX for a few seconds. Without interrupting his lecture, he would then amble to a nearby sink and casually wash the deadly chemical from his finger. The teaching point was that VX could not enter the skin instantaneously, and that accidental exposure of a small area would not be harmful as long as the site were promptly and thoroughly decontaminated.

https://www.amazon.com/Chemical-Warfare-Secrets-Almost-Forgo... - Chemical Warfare Secrets Almost Forgotten: A Personal Story of Medical Testing of Army Volunteers, by James S. Ketchum MD




The timeline seems to agree.

Jong Nam felt uneasy after being sprayed and went to KLIA clinic. As his condition worsen, he's transferred to Putrajaya hospital which is 30min away from KLIA. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. I would say 30min to 1 hour for the nerve agent to actually kill someone.

Sorry I don't have source. Just watched the news few days ago on Malaysian TV.


I'm grateful for the edification, but dude, that's a very specific reference from a >$100 (text?)book on a very particular subject. I'm afraid to ask about your background :P


Why are so many questions about the background of people displaying knowledge in this thread? That is what I'm finding disturbing.

I don't know anything about nerve gas, but do know about a couple topics that I suspect would trigger the same people, and it creeps me out that people become suspicious about someone for simply knowing something.

Probably worth keeping in mind that not a few people put cryptography in the same "military secrets" bucket.


Welcome to HN :)

It's one of the reasons I leave this site every day feeling wonderfully inadequate :)


Some people may be ex-military, and are able to say some general things about a topic like this and not get into trouble - as long as they cite a publication available to the public to provide a plausible explanation.



Library Genesis.


Thanks for the elaborate answer.


So all Kim Jong-Nam had to do to survive was walk into a washroom and wipe his face clean with soap and water?


He would have greatly increased his chances. Assuming that the agent used was run of the mill V/G agent and not a specialty delivery variety.

In reality atropine and pralidoxime(antidote sorta) administration would have most likely saved him, but it would be very unlikely for a medical professional to deduce that the threat was cholinesterase inhibition(nerve agent poisoning).


I also doubt that airports have this on hand in many parts of the world. Maybe in the US where fears are stoked about a chemical attack.


Atropine is commonly used to treat other medical conditions. I would expect any modern emergency medical service to have it on hand (though perhaps not in the quantities necessary... we would need to use all the Atropine on multiple ambulances to treat one patient in this condition).


When I was in the army they taught us that the atropine was the antidote to the pralidoxime (or 2-PAM chloride as we called it).


No, they essentially work to solve the same problem in different ways.

To use a very clumsy analogy, imagine nerve agents like VX are slamming on the brakes of your body. Atropine makes your body less sensitive to the effect of "brakes". 2-PAM takes the foot off the brake.


They covered his mouth and nose, so it's quite likely he also inhaled some.


Bleach, you should really use bleach. It breaks it down instead of just mechanically rinsing it away.


The news in Japan is saying that they wiped it in his eyes, so washing may not have helped.

Wouldn't have hurt, though...




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