KUALA LUMPUR • The family of Mr Kim Jong Nam has given permission to the Malaysian government to manage his remains.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said a consent form had been submitted by Mr Kim's next of kin regarding the final disposition of the body.
"I will check on the consent document, the list made by the next of kin to the Malaysian government through the (foreign) ministry. And yes, the police will make a decision based on their request," he said.
Datuk Seri Zahid said the North Korean Embassy was in no position to claim the body without approval from Mr Kim's next of kin.
Mr Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was killed on Feb 13 by two women who smeared a toxic agent on his face. The remains of Mr Kim Jong Nam were identified by DNA after Malaysian officials collected samples from his son, Mr Zahid said yesterday. "We went there and collected the DNA," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday. He did not identify the son or the location where the DNA was collected.
The exiled North Korean was said to have two wives and three children. A video of a young man who identified himself as his son, Kim Han Sol, 21, appeared on YouTube last week. He is widely believed to have sought asylum in an unnamed country.
North Korea has rejected Malaysia's findings and insisted that the dead man was not Mr Kim Jong Nam. Yesterday, speaking at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing at a hastily arranged news conference, diplomat Pak Myong Ho blamed the United States and South Korea for the incident.
"The recent incident that occurred in Malaysia was clearly a political scheme by the US and South Korea aimed at hurting the DPRK's reputation and overthrowing the DPRK regime," Mr Pak said, using the North's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The Malaysian authorities have charged an Indonesian woman and a Vietnamese woman with the murder, and are looking for seven North Koreans to question over the case.
Malaysia's police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said yesterday that Interpol has issued a red notice, the closest to an international arrest warrant, for four North Koreans wanted in connection with the murder.
"We have obtained a red notice for the four North Korean nationals who were at the airport on the day of the incident and who have since left... We are hoping to get them through Interpol," he told reporters.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, REUTERS