Kim's Identity Confirmed With Child's DNA
As Malaysia, N. Korea begin formal talks
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 15, 2017 7:19 AM CDT
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Kim Jong Nam in 2010.   (Shin In-seop/JoongAng Ilbo via AP, File)

(Newser) – Malaysian police were able to confirm the identity of Kim Jong Nam, who was killed last month at Kuala Lumpur's airport, using a DNA sample from one of his children, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Wednesday, per the AP. Zahid also said negotiations began Monday to resolve a diplomatic standoff over the death the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader, who was carrying a passport bearing the name Kim Chol at the time of his death on Feb. 13. North Korea—widely suspected of being behind the attack—continues to call the victim Kim Chol and has rejected autopsy findings that Kim was killed by nerve agent VX. Malaysian police said last week they had confirmed the victim was Kim Jong Nam, but refused to say how.

Kim is believed to have two sons and a daughter with two women living in Beijing and Macau, but it is unclear where they currently are. 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. In the meantime, Zahid said formal talks between Malaysia and North Korea are ongoing at the "secretary-general level" and that Malaysia is keeping an "open heart and open mind" in negotiations centering on seven North Korean suspects in the attack, including three believed to be in the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Asked if Malaysia will exchange the Korean suspects for nine Malaysians blocked from leaving North Korea, Zahid said "we are looking at all possibilities."

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