Press members covering Kim killing return in force outside HKL

Farezza Hanum Rashid

KUALA LUMPUR: After trickling away earlier this week due to lack of developments on the Kim Jong-nam assassination investigation, members of the local and foreign media are back in full force, camping out in front of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL)’s forensic department.

After receiving few updates this week, most of the exhausted reporters and photographers covering the case since ‘day 1’ had decided to pack up and look for stories elsewhere.

But the media re-emerged at HKL, 26 days after Jong-nam’s murder, after Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar confirmed yesterday that the North Korean man at HKL’s morgue has been positively identified as Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

"There were less than 10 of us here last week. Local media consisted only of Bernama, Utusan Malaysia and NSTP, while the rest were foreign media.

"Although media presence is not the same as the first week, the atmosphere is definitely more 'alive' now, compared to last week," said Asahi Shimbun photographer, Syaiful Redzuan Md Noor.

As the police may now hand over Jong-nam’s body to the Health Ministry, the press is on stand-by for the possible release and repatriation of his remains.

Jong-nam, who was travelling under the name ‘Kim Chol’, was murdered at klia2 while waiting to board a flight to Macau on Feb 13.

He was attacked by two women, an Indonesian and a Vietnamese, who had used a deadly VX nerve agent on him.

They have been charged with murder.