China provides fingerprint data to assist Malaysia in identifying Kim Jong Nam

The identity of the North Korean man killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Feb 13 was confirmed as Kim Jong Nam (above) based on fingerprint data obtained from China's authorities.
The identity of the North Korean man killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Feb 13 was confirmed as Kim Jong Nam (above) based on fingerprint data obtained from China's authorities.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The identity of the North Korean man killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) on Feb 13 was confirmed as Kim Jong Nam based on fingerprint data obtained from China's authorities.

Records of Kim's fingerprints were kept by authorities in Macau where he and his family lived in multiple undisclosed locations for their safety.

"Confirmation through fingerprint database is part of the process in identifying the victim in the context of DNA. It can be accepted aside from testing the samples of the victim's tissue, hair and blood with that of his family members," a source said.

It is learnt that aside from China, Kim's biometric data was also kept by other countries due to his frequent travel to multiple places, including Singapore and Japan.

"However, in the context of the case, Malaysian police have been cooperating with their counterparts in China via Interpol. More than 20 police personnel and officers from China have assisted in the process of identifying Jong Nam, as well as in other aspects," the source said.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu had previously said police had asked for assistance from Interpol in identifying the victim and denied that a team was sent to Macau to collect DNA samples from Kim's family members.

He confirmed last Friday that the man killed at KLIA2 by the banned VX nerve agent was Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The deceased was using a passport under the alias "Kim Chol".

On Monday, Kyodo news agency also reported that Japan provided Malaysia with fingerprint data and other information on Kim Jong Nam needed for the investigation. The fingerprint data was obtained when the Japanese immigration officials detained him in 2001 at Narita International Airport when he tried to enter the country on a false passport, Kyodo quoted sources as saying.

Japanese authorities also offered data on Kim's physical characteristics, they said.