Published: Wed, March 29, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Kim Jong-nam's body still in Malaysia, says minister

Kim Jong-nam's body still in Malaysia, says minister

Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam today said the government had made a decision to expedite the process of handling the body of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who was murdered at klia2 on Feb 13.

Security at the National Forensic Medicine Institute (IPFN) of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary where North Korean Kim Jong-nam's body was kept since his murder on Feb 13, has been relaxed following new development yesterday. The two countries banned each other's citizens from leaving their countries and both of their ambassadors were recalled.

Aside from the two young women, eight North Koreans are suspected of having some involvement in the assassination, including diplomat Hyon Kwang-song and two others who are thought be hiding in the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

Body of estranged half-brother of North Korean leader has not left the country, health minister says.

He denied that the remains had been cremated as reported by the media.

"But the next of kin have not come forward to provide assistance on how the body is to be treated", he said.

Malaysian police are seeking more than seven North Koreans in connection with the case.

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An official for the US government said the policy has been mulled over for several weeks, according to The Associated Press . JFK-based representatives of Dubai's Emirates Airline and Doha-based Qatar Airways said they had not heard of any changes.

"The body is still in the morgue at Hospital Kuala Lumpur", Subramaniam said, adding it would remain there until the government had decided what to do.

Regarding reports of possible decomposition of the body, Subramaniam said it is up to the Forensics Department to decide if a second embalming is necessary.

Malaysia has said the autopsy revealed Mr Kim died after exposure to the lethal VX nerve agent, a chemical listed as a weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.

"As far as we are concerned, there has been no change", he said. He was dead within 20 minutes.

Jong-nam, who travelled with a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol, died on the way to the Putrajaya Hospital.

On Sunday, the North Korean Embassy allowed the Malay police to visit the diplomatic compound for their investigation over Kim's death in a sudden aboutface from its previous hardline position. Last weekend, a delegation of five North Korean government representatives arrived in Kuala Lumpur for closed-door talks with the Malaysian government, local news outlets reported.

Two women, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese, have been charged with murdering him by smearing the poison on his face just before he was due to board a flight to Macau. Both have claimed they were unwitting pawns in an assassination that USA officials and South Korean intelligence have said was organized by North Korean agents.

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