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Malaysia Releases Body of North Korea Leader's Half Brother

  • VOA News

An unidentified van believed to be carrying the body of Kim Jong Nam comes out from the forensic department at Kuala Lumpur Hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 30, 2017.

Malaysian officials have authorized the release of the body of the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says the remains of Kim Jong Nam, the victim of an unusual murder last month at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, has been released to North Korea at the family's request.

Najib said following the completion of an autopsy and receipt of a letter from his family requesting the remains be returned to North Korea, the coroner has approved the release of the body.

Nine Malaysians who had been detained in North Korea since the killing have also been allowed to return to Malaysia.

In this image made from airport closed circuit television video and provided by Fuji Television, Kim Jong Nam, exiled half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, gestures towards his face while talking to airport security and officials at Kuala Lump
In this image made from airport closed circuit television video and provided by Fuji Television, Kim Jong Nam, exiled half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, gestures towards his face while talking to airport security and officials at Kuala Lump

Kim was poisoned at the airport in a bold Cold War-style assassination with a deadly nerve agent that has been banned by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.

South Korea has blamed its northern neighbor for Kim's death, but North Korea has dismissed those allegations.

North Korea had denounced Malaysia's investigation as an attempt to discredit a secretive regime and has insisted Kim most likely died of a heart attack.

The murder has damaged relations between Malaysia and North Korea, which have expelled each other's ambassadors.

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