PENANG: Malaysia’s Health Ministry has not decided on what to do next with the body of Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un who was murdered at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb 13.
The body was handed over to the Health Ministry on Friday (Mar 10), after police said they have completed their probe into his death.
Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya told reporters on Saturday that there is no regulation limiting the time that a body can be kept in hospital. "There is no time limit to claim the body, and as this is a high-profile case, we should not rush to make any decision. The ministry will decide on the next course of action," he said.
On whether the body should be handed over to Kim Jong Nam’s next-of-kin, Dr Hilmi said that it should be, according to Malaysian law. However, if the body is not claimed by his family, then Kim could be buried in Malaysia, he said.
Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar had on Friday confirmed that the murdered North Korean man is Kim Jong Nam, nearly a month after the assassination. He did not elaborate on how authorities came to the conclusion, or whether DNA samples were still needed to identify the body.
According to a New Straits Times report on Saturday, Kim was identified by a scatter of 21 moles on his face. Among the more prominent ones are three moles lined near one of his eyes and one to the right of his lips, said the report which cited a source with knowledge of the identification process.
However, the identification by moles was refuted by the police chief who said: "No, not true. That is not enough for us."