Subra: We hope fam­ily will now claim Jong-nam’s body

New Straits Times - - News | Story Of The Day -

The issue of what is to be done with the body of Kim Jong-nam is ex­pected to be re­solved in two to three weeks.

Health Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr S. Subra­ma­niam said yes­ter­day the gov­ern­ment would look for a pos­i­tive so­lu­tion if Jong-nam’s next of kin do not claim his re­mains.

“With the pos­i­tive iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, we hope his fam­ily will claim Jong-nam’s re­mains. If the fam­ily does not, the min­istry will have to dis­cuss with the Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment, Home Min­istry and For­eign Min­istry on the next course of ac­tion. We hope to come to a de­ci­sion in two to three weeks,” he said af­ter at­tend­ing the Min­is­ter of Health Re­search and In­no­va­tion Award 2016 yes­ter­day.

Asked if Malaysia would hand over Jong­nam’s body to North Korea if Py­ongyang re­quested, Dr Subra­ma­niam would only say that the For­eign Min­istry was in charge of iden­ti­fy­ing the next of kin.

Jong-nam, the ex­iled half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was at­tacked just as he was about to check in for a flight out of klia2 to Ma­cau on Feb 13, dy­ing less than 30 min­utes later of poi­son­ing from VX nerve agent.

In Kuala Lumpur, At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Tan Sri Mo­hamed Apandi Ali said Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak would be the one to de­ter­mine the ap­proach used in ne­go­ti­a­tions with Py­ongyang to se­cure the re­lease of the re­main­ing nine Malaysians barred from leav­ing North Korea.

He con­firmed that talks to bring home the nine were un­der­way, but added that he was

not al­lowed to di­vulge more in­for­ma­tion on the mat­ter.

“We have been told that only the prime min­is­ter and the deputy prime min­is­ter can com­ment on this issue. We fear that if many peo­ple (speak on this issue), it will jeop­ar­dise the ne­go­ti­a­tions. This is a very sen­si­tive issue. The good thing is, ne­go­ti­a­tions are on­go­ing,” he said.

Apandi was speak­ing to re­porters on the side­lines of the Asean In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Com­mis­sion on Hu­man Rights Ju­di­cial Col­lo­quium on the Shar­ing of Good Prac­tices Re­gard­ing In­ter­na­tional Hu­man Rights Law.

Na­jib had said last week that ne­go­ti­a­tions with Py­ongyang would be held be­hind closed doors, in the in­ter­ests of the wel­fare of Malaysians.

“Some­times, these things have to be done in se­crecy to achieve the de­sired re­sult,” he had said.

North Korea had barred the nine Malaysians in Py­ongyang from leav­ing the coun­try in re­tal­i­a­tion to Malaysia declar­ing North Korean am­bas­sador to Malaysia Kang Chol per­sona non grata over his re­fusal to apol­o­gise for dis­parag­ing re­marks made re­gard­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Jong-nam’s mur­der.

Datuk Seri Dr S. Subra­ma­niam

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