Members of Malaysia’s Hazmat team conduct a decontamination operation. Pic/AFP
Members of Malaysia’s Hazmat team conduct a decontamination operation. Pic/AFP

Kuala Lumpur: Kim Jong-Nam was dead within 20 minutes of being attacked and would have suffered a "very painful death" as his major organs shut down, Malaysia's health minister said yesterday.

The estranged half-brother of the North Korean leader was killed with lethal nerve agent VX, police has revealed, after he was ambushed at Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13. Two women can be seen shoving something into Kim's face in leaked CCTV footage of the brazen assassination before he seeks help.

"He died in the ambulance. He fainted in the clinic," Health Minister S Subramaniam told reporters. "From the time of the onset (of the attack) he died within 15 to 20 minutes." Autopsy results suggested the 45-year-old died from "very serious paralysis" due to the lethal nerve agent, Subramaniam said earlier Sunday.