Friday, November 30, 2012

From CNN (with video):
All you might feel is someone brush by you and a slight pin prick. But very quickly you would be suffering muscle paralysis followed by suffocation. You would be dead within a very short period of time. . .

Disguised to look like a Parker ballpoint pen, it contains a poison needle and is practically impossible to identify as a weapon.
Not for sale, luckily -- recently found in the possession of a North Korean assassin. He was also carrying a pen gun that resembled a Parker fountain pen, which shot a poisoned bullet, and a three-shot "flashlight". Apparently only the flashlight was new to South Korean intelligence, the other two devices having been around for some ten years or more.

ADDENDUM: To clarify, the two devices in their North Korean versions are of fairly recent date, but they are hardly new inventions. Both are decades old, and were Cold War staples. A recent episode of PBS' History Detectives was devoted to the development of the poison pin. Thanks to a faithful reader and correspondent for comments and the link.


Anonymous said...

Wonder if there is an info on using Vintage Soviet fountain pens as disguise of weapon during the Cold War. I'm sure the KGB thought about it too.

David said...

These sorts of weapons (pen guns, concealed poisoned needles) have a long history, and the North Korean versions appear to be based upon decades-old Soviet designs. There is quite a bit of information available on them, though as a field of collecting they would be rather problematical!