KUALA LUMPUR: Last Sunday's embalming of the body of murdered North Korean Kim Jong-nam can help preserve it for up to three months, and is useful if the remains are to be sent to North Korea, a Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) source revealed.
It is learnt that the embalmment was conducted for fear that the body would begin to rot during the wait for Jong-nam’s next-of-kin to come forward for the identification process.
The hospital source said that bodies which are not embalmed can only be kept from decomposing for between a week and two weeks in the freezer of the hospital mortuary.
"As the investigation into the murder of Jong-nam may take a long time, the management decided to embalm the body to prevent rotting, which could jeopardise the probe," the source said.
The source added that if the government decides to send the remains to North Korea soon, the body could be taken there before decomposition sets in.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said last Wednesday that HKL had embalmed Jong-nam's body to prevent decomposition.
Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim confirmed yesterday that the next-of-kin of Jong-nam had left it to the Malaysian government to manage the remains. -- Bernama