KL will not release body without DNA sample from Kim's family

Indonesian Siti Aisyah, a Vietnamese woman and a Malaysian man believed to be Siti Aisyah's boyfriend have been arrested by Malaysian police in connection with the alleged assassination of Mr Kim Jong Nam (right), half-brother of North Korean leader
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, a Vietnamese woman and a Malaysian man believed to be Siti Aisyah's boyfriend have been arrested by Malaysian police in connection with the alleged assassination of Mr Kim Jong Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on Monday.PHOTO: DETIK.COM
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, a Vietnamese woman and a Malaysian man believed to be Siti Aisyah's boyfriend have been arrested by Malaysian police in connection with the alleged assassination of Mr Kim Jong Nam (right), half-brother of North Korean leader
Indonesian Siti Aisyah, a Vietnamese woman and a Malaysian man believed to be Siti Aisyah's boyfriend have been arrested by Malaysian police in connection with the alleged assassination of Mr Kim Jong Nam (above), half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on Monday.PHOTO: REUTERS

Police say they need to match victim's profile, as North Korean diplomats try to claim body

The body of Mr Kim Jong Nam is not going anywhere until the North Korean side provides a DNA sample from a family member, said Malaysian police, who have arrested two women and a man in connection with his alleged assassination.

North Korean diplomats have asked the Malaysian authorities to release the body of Mr Kim, 45, the estranged half-brother of their country's leader Kim Jong Un, to them. They also tried but failed to stop an autopsy on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Selangor state police chief Abdul Samah Mat said that "before we release the body, we have to identify who the body belongs to".

"So far, no family member or next of kin has come to identify or claim the body. We need a DNA sample of a family member to match the profile of the dead person," he was reported as saying by Agence France-Presse.

While Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said that the body would be sent back to North Korea, he made clear that "there are procedures to be followed".

On Monday morning, Mr Kim was at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 to catch a flight to Macau when two women approached him and one of them splashed or sprayed poison in his face.

The result of Wednesday's autopsy is not known, and blood and tissue samples are being analysed.

Despite assertions by South Korean lawmakers and others that Mr Kim's death was a state-endorsed hit, Malaysia's Special Branch director Mohamad Fuzi Harun said yesterday it was too early to conclude that it was the work of agents working for North Korea.

Two women - a Vietnamese and an Indonesian - have been arrested along with a Malaysian man said to be the latter's boyfriend.

Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said yesterday he did not believe Siti Aisyah, 25, was an agent working for the North Koreans, Indonesian portal Detik.com reported. "Why would she go and stay in a hotel in the same city, so close to the airport? It can only mean that she was a victim and manipulated in this situation," he was reported as saying.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2017, with the headline 'KL will not release body without DNA sample from Kim's family'. Print Edition | Subscribe