United Nations rights expert calls for inquiry into death of Kim Jong-nam

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United Nations rights expert calls for inquiry into death of Kim Jong-nam

Malaysia disclosed Wednesday that it had verified Kim's identity using DNA "based on the sample obtained from his child", said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, according to an Associated Press report.

The announcement was made two days after reports emerged that Malaysia used fingerprint data of Jong Nam that they received from Japan to identify his body after he was poisoned with nerve agent VX in Kuala Lumpur on February 13.

Malaysian officials say Kim's body has been embalmed to better preserve it and that Kim's relatives will be given two to three weeks to claim it.

Police said last week they had confirmed the victim was Kim Jong Nam, but refused to say how. He said anyone including North Korea could ask for such inquiry. He accused the regime of "holding our citizens hostage" before deciding Malaysia would do the same with North Koreans.

Zahid said the two countries are still negotiating, but did not elaborate.

He also said North Koreans whose working visas are still valid will not be deported, pending ongoing discussions between Malaysia and the communist state.

Jong Nam was murdered at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2, where he was waiting to board a flight to Macau. The Malaysian authorities say there are about 1,000 North Koreans now in Malaysia. Two women - one Vietnamese and one Indonesian - were seen on CCVTV smearing his face with the banned VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur's airport.

He refused to say how police identified Kim, saying "the safety and security of the witnesses" were at stake.

The Malaysian government and police have been adopting a very cautious approach since the assassination took place a month ago, carrying out their duties in accordance with the laws.

North Korea is preventing three Malaysian diplomats and their six family members from leaving the country, sparking tit-for-tat action by Malaysia.

The North Korean government has openly criticised the investigation, disputing the cause of death as nerve gas and whether the man killed was in fact Kim Jong-nam.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman says his country will begin talks with North Korea in the "next few days".

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