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Malaysian police formally identify Kim Jong Nam

10 Mar, 2017 17:42:00

International Desk:The identification process touches on one of the flashpoints in a case that has broken once-warm ties between Malaysia and North Korea.

Malaysian police in a formal press briefing said, they have formally identified Kim Jong Nam as the victim of a fatal nerve agent attack at Kuala Lumpur’s airport. Kim is the estranged half brother of North Korea’s ruler. Friday’s announcement was a formality. Soon after the Feb. 13 attack, Malaysian Cabinet officials confirmed the victim was Kim.

The identification process touches on one of the flashpoints in a case that has broken once-warm ties between Malaysia and North Korea.

North Korea does not acknowledge the victim is Kim Jong Nam and has demanded custody of the body, but Malaysia has not handed it over. National police chief Khalid Abu Bakar refused to say how police identified Kim. He said the “safety and security of witnesses” are at stake.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has called for unity as he tried to bring home nine Malaysians stuck in North Korea amid a growing row over the murder of Kim Jong Nam. He also warned Pyongyang not to abuse Malaysia’s “hospitality”.

Relations between both the countries soured over the probe into the Feb. 13 murder of Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. According to Malaysian police, he was assaulted by two women who smeared his face with VX, a chemical classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.

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