Zahid: Kim Jong-nam’s body identified using son’s DNA

A reporter holds up a local newspaper during his report in front of the morgue at Kuala Lumpur General Hospital where Kim Jong-nam’s body is held for autopsy February 18, 2017. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — The body of Kim Jong-nam was identified using a DNA sample obtained from his son who is overseas, the Home Ministry confirmed today.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Malaysian authorities met with the next of kin overseas to get the DNA sample for Jong-nam, who is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother.

“From the son...who is out of the country. I would like to confirm that the DNA has been taken and brought to Malaysia and it is indeed Kim Jong-nam,” he told reporters when met at the Parliament today.

Ahmad Zahid however did not disclose where the Malaysian authorities met the son but said it was done overseas.

He also said the police have received a “consent document” from the family and will be taking action based on it.

The Bagan Datoh MP confirmed that negotiations between Putrajaya and Pyongyang have begun last Monday.

Jong-nam was allegedly assassinated using the VX nerve agent at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on February 13.

His body remains in the Hospital Kuala Lumpur mortuary, but was embalmed last weekend.

Pyongyang has repeatedly sought custody of the body, but Malaysia has so far refused to release it to anyone other than Jong-nam’s family.

Jong-Nam’s family has said it will allow Malaysia to determine what to do with his body, according to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

A video of Kim’s son appeared a week ago where he claimed his mother and sister were with him overseas and are safe.