A North Korean assassin's toolkit of death was revealed this week after the would-be killer tried to murder an activist in 2011.
In an exclusive interview with CNN (video below), an unnamed investigation official showed three disguised weapons, including two poison pens and a gun made to look like a flashlight.
The first, a toxic weapon disguised as a Parker ballpoint pen, contains a poison needle that can paralyze and suffocate its victim within minutes of the first prick. The second is a similar pen that shoots a toxin-filled bullet, and the third is a flashlight loaded with up to three bullets and is capable of firing accurately.
All of the items are deadly and almost impossible to identify as weapons, CNN learned.
RELATED GALLERY: Declassified Spy Gear
If a CIA operative were caught, he could choose capture or death by this pin. When twisted the right way, the silver dollar would unleash a pin coated in saxitoxin. Its user would die in seconds from the poison.
Spies aren't usually assassins. But some weapons, like this umbrella, have been used in the field. The assassination umbrella is equipped with a pellet of toxic ricin that will infect and kill its target slowly over the course of a few days. Its last known use was on Bulgarian defector and BBC reporter Georgi Markov in London, 1978.
Dead Drop Brick
Spies in Moscow in the 60s had a variety of "dead drops" they could use to secretly pass around notes and other contraband, including these hollow bricks.
Dead Drop Rat
Rats' hollowed-out bodies also served as an effective dead drop for money, notes and other contraband being moved around Moscow.
Exploding Coal Paint Set
Spies would use fake, exploding coal to sabotage supply lines -- and this paint set to make the coal look real.
In the 40s, spies were using cameras smaller than your smartphone!
Think you could be a spy? Try floating a one-man submarine into Singapore harbor and planting mines on Japanese ships in World War II. Not easy, but this submersible is cool.
Lock Picks Kit
And they all fit in this handy dandy sheath.
Time-Delay Pencil Detonators
With these bad boys, you could even get away BEFORE the explosion.
The OSS designed the Beano grenade to feel like a baseball and explode on impact -- rather than bouncing away from its target and blowing up elsewhere.
The unidentified assassin was reportedly trying to kill anti-North Korea activist Park Sang-hak in Seoul last year. The killer was on his way to meet Park when the National Intelligence Service intervened, CNN reported.
Indeed, weapons are getting more and more difficult to spot. But weapons like these aren't new; CIA and FBI operatives have been using them for decades. Weapons disguised as everyday objects in the World War II era included bullet-filled umbrellas, pencil detonators and exploding coal paint sets. View the gallery above to see more.
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