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