Face moles, tattoo help identify Kim Jong Nam, says source

Officials used a photo of Mr Kim and matched the positions of the moles with those on the body in the morgue.
Officials used a photo of Mr Kim and matched the positions of the moles with those on the body in the morgue.

Malaysian police came to identify Kim Jong Nam through the moles on his face, a local newspaper has reported.

Mr Kim, who died in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 13 after being attacked with the lethal VX nerve agent, had 21 moles on his face, according to the New Straits Times.

In the absence of DNA evidence from Mr Kim's next-of-kin, the daily reported, the police relied on "secondary evidence" to positively identify him as the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Mr Kim was carrying a passport in the name of Kim Chol when he died.

Citing an unnamed source, the daily reported that officials had used a known photo of Mr Kim and matched the positions of moles scattered across his face with that of the body that was lying in Kuala Lumpur Hospital's morgue.

Forensics had measured precise locations of the moles on his face, with several noted to be distinctive of Mr Kim's. Three moles lined near one of his eyes and a mole on the right of his lips were keys to making the match.

Forensics had measured precise locations of moles on his face, with several noted to be distinctive of Mr Kim's. Three moles lined near one of his eyes and a mole on the right of his lips were keys to making the match.

Mr Kim is also known to have an oriental design tattoo of a man with two Japanese carps spread across his torso.

The newspaper said forensics had determined these characteristics were unique to Mr Kim.

Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya told reporters yesterday that the authorities have not decided what to do with Mr Kim's remains.

"According to the law in Malaysia, there is no time limit to release or not release a body," Datuk Seri Hilmi said.

He added that if the deceased was not claimed by his next-of-kin, the body could be buried in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Malaysia hopes to open negotiations with North Korea in the "next few days" to secure the release of its citizens trapped in Pyongyang following a diplomatic row over the investigations into Mr Kim's murder, the Foreign Minister said yesterday.

Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Wisma Putra "is in communication with the North Korea government through its embassy in Kuala Lumpur".


 

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 12, 2017, with the headline 'Face moles, tattoo help identify Kim Jong Nam, says source'. Print Edition | Subscribe