Kim Jong-nam's body was embalmed this week and remains at Kuala Lampur central mortuary.

Police said they are speaking with the family to arrange for the body to be handed over.
Police said they are speaking with the family to arrange for the body to be handed over.

The identity of Kim Jong-nam's body has been confirmed through a DNA sample obtained from one of his children, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Tuesday.

The DNA proof of identity comes a month after Kim was allegedly murdered by two women who smeared VX nerve agent on his face at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, died within 20 minutes of the attack.

His body was embalmed this week and remains at the city's central mortuary.

"It's an effort to preserve the body, because if it is kept in the mortuary it might decompose so we did this to preserve the body," Zahid said.

Police said they were in discussions with Kim's family to arrange for his body to be handed over.

Diplomatic meltdown

The murder, and Malaysia's investigation of it, has sparked a diplomatic meltdown between two countries with once strong ties.

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

The deputy prime minister said the two countries are still negotiating, but did not elaborate.

Zahid also said Malaysia will soon deport fifty North Korean workers who overstayed their visa in the Borneo state of Sarawak.

They were among 176 North Koreans working in Sarawak.

The workers were employed in mines and construction sites in the state.

Zahid has said about 315 North Koreans remain in the country with valid visas.

Who killed Kim Jong-nam?

Before he was murdered, Kim had been living in the Chinese territory of Macau under Beijing's protection. He had spoken out publicly against his family's dynastic control of the isolated, nuclear-armed North Korea.

South Korean intelligence officers said Kim Jong-un issued standing orders for the elimination of his elder half-brother.

Video footage of a man claiming to be the son of Kim Jong-nam appeared last week, in which he said he was lying low with his mother and sister.

Malaysian police have identified eight North Koreans wanted for questioning in connection with the killing of Kim, some of them allegedly hiding out at the North Korean embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

A Vietnamese woman and an Indonesian woman have been charged in the case.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies