Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

U.S. imposes additional sanctions on North Korea over Kim Jong-nam's death

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivers his annual New Year’s address at undisclosed location in North Korea.

KRT via AP Video

The United States has determined Pyongyang used the chemical warfare agent VX to assassinate the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Malaysia in 2017 and has imposed sanctions in response, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

The prohibitions appeared largely symbolic, such as sales to North Korea under the Arms Export Control Act and barring the export of national security-sensitive goods and technology to North Korea, which has no relations with the United States.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement the U.S. government made the formal determination about the use of VX on Feb. 22 under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

Story continues below advertisement

The additional sanctions on Pyongyang went into effect on March 5 after the finding was formally published in the Federal Register, the official journal of the U.S. government, Nauert said.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson determined North Korea had "used chemical weapons in violation of international law or lethal chemical weapons against its own nationals," the department said in the Federal Register.

Kim's estranged half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was killed at the airport in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13, 2017. Two women, Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong, are on trial on charges of murdering Kim by smearing his face with VX.

U.S. President Donald Trump says North Korea seems "to be acting positively" after South Korea announced the North would halt nuclear weapons and missile tests and put its entire atomic arsenal up for discussion if the U.S. agrees to enter a negotiation. The Associated Press
Report an error
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles as we switch to a new provider. We are behind schedule, but we are still working hard to bring you a new commenting system as soon as possible. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to