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PUBLISHED: Mar 15, 2017 5:11pm

Kim Jong-nam’s body identified from son’s DNA

FILE PHOTO: A man believed to be North Korean heir-apparent Kim Jong Nam takes a look around as he boards a plane upon his deportation from Japan at Tokyo's Narita international airport May 4, 2001.   REUTERS/Eriko Sugita/File Photo


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KUALA LUMPUR, 15 March 2017:

Malaysia found out the identity of Kim Jong-nam’s body based on DNA samples taken from his son, the deputy prime minister said today.

Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was murdered on Feb 13, when Malaysian police say two women smeared super toxic VX nerve agent on his face at KL International Airport.

But North Korea, which the US and South Korea say orchestrated the murder, has so far not identified him as Kim Jong-nam, who was carrying a passport under the name of Kim Chol when he was murdered. No next of kin has come forward to claim the body.

“I again confirm that it is Kim Jong-nam… This is based on a sample taken from his child,” said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He did not say how Malaysia obtained the DNA sample or from which of Kim Jong Nam’s children it came from.

Kim Jong Nam had been living in the Chinese territory of Macau with his second wife under Beijing’s protection after the family went into exile several years ago. He had spoken out publicly against his family’s dynastic control of the isolated, nuclear-armed North Korea.

Video footage of a man claiming to be the son of Kim Jong Nam appeared last week, in which he said he was lying low with his mother and sister.

An official at South Korea’s National Intelligence Service confirmed the man in the video was Kim Han Sol, the 21-year-old son of Kim Jong-nam.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported the 2019 Asia Cup final round qualifier between North Korea and Malaysia will be played on June 8.

AFC secretary-general Datuk Windsor Paul announced the new date – decided by the AFC competition committee – at a media briefing today.

“On March 13, we sent a letter to North Korea saying that, based on the principle of match sequence and to be played on the FIFA window, the match between North Korea and Malaysia will be played on June 8.

“We should play on the FIFA date, failing which the players will not be released by the club. And the date before the second match scheduled on June 13, is only on June 8.”

He also noted host North Korea had been given a month’s time to propose a neutral venue for the match.

“We were also informed that North Korea need to provide a neutral venue. We have given them (North Korea) until April 14 to come back with a neutral venue, in the event the (current) diplomatic situation is not solved.

“Not just giving us the name of the neutral venue, but North Korea should guarantee the security and travel visa at the new venue, especially for players, media, officers and also football fans.

“If North Korea is not able to find a neutral venue, AFC will decide the venue for them by May 8.”

He added that if the neutral venue had been chosen for the first match for the sporting reason, the second match between North Korea and Malaysia would also be played at the neutral venue.

The Harimau Malaysia squad led by Datuk Ong Kim Swee was originally scheduled to face North Korea in the Group B opening match for the qualifying Asian Cup 2019 at the Kim Il-sung Stadium in the country’s capital, Pyongyang.

However, due to diplomatic tensions following the assassination of the North Korean leader’s estranged half-brother Kim Jong-nam at KL International Airport 2 (klia2) on Feb 13, the Malaysian Government had prohibited Harimau Malaysia from playing in that country due to security reasons.

Following that, the Football Association of Malaysia on Monday had requested AFC to change the venue to a neutral ground.

The situation worsened subsequently, when the Malaysian Government also banned North Koreans in Malaysia from leaving the country, after North Korea barred 11 Malaysians from leaving that country.



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