Malaysia, N. Korea at Odds over Kim Jong-nam's Body

Subramaniam said Kim Jong-nam's body is still under the responsibility of the Health Ministry until it receives advice from the Foreign Ministry and Prime Minister's Office on the next course of action.

Reporters said Monday that they spotted a hearse escorted by police arriving at the morgue, where Kim Jong-nam's body was kept, on Sunday afternoon.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said Tuesday that the Malaysian government will not cremate Kim's body due to the sensitive nature of the case.

North Korea has dismissed the Malaysian findings, insisting that the dead man was Mr Kim Chol, a citizen travelling on a diplomatic passport, and that the cause of death was a "heart stroke".

China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had noted the reports about talks between Malaysia and North Korea, but did not know any details. The group, comprised of North Korean defectors, regularly launches large balloons carrying such information in a campaign to spread dissenting messages in the reclusive country.

The killing has triggered a bitter row between Malaysia and North Korea, which have expelled each other's ambassadors and barred their citizens from leaving.

Kim Jong Nam, the older half-sibling of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, was fatally poisoned with a banned nerve agent while preparing to board a flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 on February 13, according to police.

Anchor: Malaysia is delaying announcing the result of its negotiations with Pyongyang over the handling of the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half-brother Kim Jong-nam. North Korean officials have rejected the autopsy, saying he likely had a heart attack.

"But the next of kin have not come forward to provide assistance on how the body is to be treated", he said.

There were also rumours that the body was taken to the Kuala Lumpur City Call Crematorium.

When asked of reported attempts to move it, he said he has to check with the Forensics Department if there was any requirement for the body to be taken out but reiterated that it remains in HKL to his knowledge. But Malaysia refused, in part because it needed to formally identify the body, which it now says it has done, using DNA from his son.

The Fighters for Free North Korea told Yonhap they launched about 300,000 anti-Pyongyang leaflets from Paju, north of Seoul, on Tuesday between 11pm and midnight. Malaysia has charged the two women with murder.

  • Leroy Wright