Jong-nam's body still in HKL: Subramaniam

FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR

PUTRAJAYA: Health Minister Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam today confirmed that the body of North Korean Kim Jong-nam is still being kept at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital's National Forensic Institute.

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

As for reports that the body had been taken out of the mortuary, Subramaniam said that it was not "within his knowledge".

"There have been so much speculations on the whereabouts of the body, but we need to check that with our forensics team.

"As far as I know, the body is still at the HKL mortuary," he said after attending the ministry's Excellent Service Award, today.

Subramaniam said Jong-nam's body is still under the responsibility of the Health Ministry until it receives advice from the Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister's Office on the next course of action.

"The negotiations between Foreign Ministry and the North Korean government are still ongoing.

"We need to wait for the results from the discussion before we can make any decision on what to do with the body," he added.

It was reported that Jong-nam's body had been taken out of the mortuary on Sunday for a "religious rite".

There were also rumours that the body was taken to the Kuala Lumpur City Call Crematorium.

Jong-nam, 45, the estranged half-brother of the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was killed when two women smeared a VX nerve agent on his face at klia2 on Feb 13.

He died while en-route to the Putrajaya Hospital.