Q: What did you expect, an exploding pen?
Footage of three weapons that were found on a North Korean assassin when he was arrested on the platform of a subway in Seoul in September 2011 were shown on CNN on Monday.
The weapons, which would not be out of place in a James Bond film, included what at first glance appears to be a black torch with a wrist strap and the word "police" along one side. Upon closer inspection, however, one end has three holes and each contains a bullet, with a trigger mechanism in the body of the torch.
Two of the bullets remain in the weapon, which military authorities in the South said they have never seen before. Tests have shown that the flashlight-gun was accurate and the projectile was able to penetrate deep into a mattress from a distance of 16 feet, meaning it would have been lethal at short range.
The two other weapons found on the assassin, identified only by his family name of An, were an ordinary-looking ballpoint pen that contained a poison-tipped needle, while another pen was capable of firing a small projectile coated in a poisonous chemical. As little as 10 milligrams of the poison is reportedly sufficient to cause breathing problems and potentially heart failure.
The assassin had arranged to meet Park Sang-Hak in Seoul and prosecutors believe he had been ordered to kill the outspoken human rights activist.