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World

AFP
February 17, 2017
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Malaysia rejects N. Korean demand to hand over Kim Jong-Nam body

Malaysia rejects N. Korean demand to hand over Kim Jong-Nam body

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Friday rejected Pyongyang´s demand that it hand over the body of Kim Jong-Nam, the assassinated half-brother of North Korea´s leader, saying it would only be released when his family provide DNA samples.

Detectives in Kuala Lumpur are trying to get to the bottom of the cloak-and-dagger murder that South Korea says was carried out by poison-wielding female agents working for their secretive northern neighbour.

North Korean ambassador Kang Chol said Pyongyang would reject the result of any Malaysian autopsy carried out without its permission and claimed the police were being pressured by hostile forces, notably South Korea.

"The Malaysian side forced the post-mortem without our permission and witnessing. We will categorically reject the result of the post-mortem conducted unilaterally," he told reporters gathered late Friday outside the morgue where the body is being held.

It was the first official comment from North Korea since the killing of Kim Jong-Nam at Kuala Lumpur international airport on Monday.

Forensic specialists on Friday began testing samples from the dead man´s body to try to determine the toxin that was apparently sprayed in his face as he readied to board a plane.

Despite the North Korean ambassador´s demand to hand over the body, Kuala Lumpur has stood firm, saying it would not release it until procedures were complete.

"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," Selangor state police chief Abdul Samah Mat told AFP.

"North Korea has submitted a request to claim the body, but before we release the body we have to identify who the body belongs to," he said.

Police were meanwhile questioning two women -- one travelling on a Vietnamese passport and the other on an Indonesian document -- as well as a Malaysian man.

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