Malaysia still waiting for Kim Jong-nam’s ‘next of kin’ to provide DNA match
Malaysia said on Tuesday it was still waiting for a family member of the murdered half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to claim his body, while the cause of death had yet to be determined.
“We hope that the next of kin comes,” Noor Hisham Abdullah, director general of health, said, clarifying that one of Kim Jong-nam’s sons was not in Malaysia as reported by some media.
Watch: Death of Kim Jong-nam sparks row between Malaysia and North Korea
The senior health ministry official also said that no wounds or obvious puncture marks were found during the postmortem on the 45-year-old’s body, nor was there any sign of a heart attack.
The government’s clarifications came a day after Reuters news service and some local media had reported that the son, Kim Han-sol, was due to arrive in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Monday evening from Macau.
A few of Malaysia’s Chinese-language newspapers reported yesterday that the son had entered the country through a special passage at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
His son has been the subject of a media frenzy as Malaysian authorities have been trying to receive DNA samples from next of kin to help them finalise their investigation on the cause of death.
The 21-year-old son has been under China’s protection with his other family members in Macau.
What will happen to the body of Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, after the cause of his death is established is unclear.
Malaysian authorities say the body cannot be released before the results of the postmortem conducted last Wednesday come out. They say next of kin have priority to claim the body.
The health ministry official also said the management of the body had been conducted in “a respectful way”.
Police Deputy Inspector General Noor Rashid Ibrahim said on Sunday that Malaysia would give family members two weeks to claim the body.
So far, police have arrested four suspects: a North Korean man, a Vietnamese woman, another woman who is an Indonesian, and a Malaysian man.
Malaysian police said four other suspects, all North Korean men, were also wanted for questioning.
Meanwhile, the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur has been stepping up its verbal attacks on the Malaysian government, accusing it of proceeding with the autopsy despite Pyongyang’s opposition and being “in collusion” with South Korea and other “hostile forces” in its probe.