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DNA tests have confirmed that the man killed last month at Kuala Lumpur’s airport was Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, Malayia’s deputy prime minister said.
In a statement on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said police “confirmed that the identity of the body is Kim Jong-nam based on the sample taken from his child.”
He did not say when and where the DNA sample was taken.
Kim Jong-nam’s son breaks silence in video
Kim Jong-nam – who was carrying a passport bearing the name Kim Chol – was killed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13.
He was allegedly murdered by two women – an Indonesian and a Vietnamese – who reportedly smeared his face with VX, a chemical classified by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction.
VX is a fast-acting toxin that causes respiratory collapse and heart failure. Tiny amounts of the poison are enough to kill an adult, whether it is inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
The women told diplomats from their home countries that they thought they were participating in a prank for reality television.
Malaysian police have since identified seven other North Koreans wanted in connection with the killing. Four of them are believed to have left the country on the day Kim was killed.
Police say the other three, including a North Korean diplomat and an employee of Air Koryo, North Korea’s state airline, are believed to be in the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Although Malaysia has never directly accused North Korea of being behind the attack, some analysts speculate that it orchestrated it. North Korea has fiercely denied that accusation.
Experts say the VX nerve agent used to kill Kim was almost certainly produced in a sophisticated state weapons laboratory, and North Korea is widely believed to possess large quantities of chemical weapons.