Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:1AM
A Malaysian forensic official walks out of the forensic wing at the Kuala Lumpur hospital, where the body of a North Korean man is being kept, February 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
A Malaysian forensic official walks out of the forensic wing at the Kuala Lumpur hospital, where the body of a North Korean man is being kept, February 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Malaysia has turned down a request by North Korea to turn over the body of a man believed to be the North Korean leader’s half-brother, who was recently killed in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysian authorities are requesting family DNA to ascertain the relation first as they are trying to get to the bottom of the cloak-and-dagger murder.  

“We need a DNA sample of a family member to match the profile of the dead person,” said Selangor State’s police chief Abdul Samah Mat on Friday.

“North Korea has submitted a request to claim the body, but before we release the body, we have to identify who the body belongs to,” he added.

Reports coming out of Malaysia and South Korea have already been referring to the victim as Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Jong-nam was attacked by two female assailants as he was walking through the departure hall at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday, according to South Korea’s intelligence chief Lee Byung-ho.

Police in Malaysia have arrested two women and a man in connection with the killing. One of the arrested women was traveling on a Vietnamese passport and the other on an Indonesian document. The man arrested is a Malaysian.

File photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L), and his half-brother Kim Jong-nam

Police forensic specialists were carrying out tests on samples from the dead man’s body to try to determine the deadly substance that was apparently sprayed on his face as he readied to board a plane at the airport.

Malaysian officials say North Korean diplomats have objected to the post-mortem examination.

Jong-nam had been spending many years in exile in Macau, a Chinese city.