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Kim Jong-nam: Post-mortem finished on leader’s brother

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Mr Kim was attacked as he waited to board a flight to Macau

A post-mortem examination has been completed on the body of Kim Jong-nam, the brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Mr Kim died on Monday after apparently being poisoned while waiting to board a flight in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

One woman is due to appear in court on Thursday, and a second woman has now been arrested, police say.

There is widespread speculation that North Korea was behind the killing, but there has been no confirmation.

Malaysia has yet to formally confirm that the dead man, who was travelling under the name Kim Chol, is Kim Jong-nam.

North Korea is on Thursday celebrating what would have been the 75th birthday of Kim Jong-il, the late leader and father of both Kim Jong-nam and Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong-un was seen attending a ruling party meeting on Wednesday. Footage aired on state media showed him grim-faced, reported South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, and he did not wave when he left, as is customary.

No request from North Korea

Selangor Police Chief Abdul Samah Mat told the BBC the examination of Mr Kim’s body was completed on Wednesday evening, but there has been no indication of whether the results will be made public.

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North Korean embassy vehicles were seen leaving the Kuala Lumpur hospital late on Wednesday

Reports on Wednesday said North Korea had asked to claim the body, but Mr Samah said that while officials from the embassy did visit the hospital they had not officially asked to remove the body.

He said Malaysia had no objection in principle to releasing the body to North Korea, if such a request were made.

Woman due in court

Mr Kim is believed to have been attacked by two women, using some form of chemical.

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This CCTV image has been broadcast by South Korean and Malaysian media

A grainy image broadcast in South Korea and Malaysia shows a woman wearing a white T-shirt with the letters “LOL” written on the front.

A woman travelling on a Vietnamese passport has been arrested and is due to appear in court on Thursday, but Mr Sama could not say when.

A second woman was arrested on Thursday and police say they are still looking for “a few” other suspects.

Kim Jong-nam was largely estranged from his family, after being bypassed for inheriting the leadership in favour of his youngest half-brother. He spent most of his time overseas in Macau, mainland China and Singapore.

He had spoken out in the past against his family’s dynastic control of North Korea and in a 2012 book was quoted as saying he believed his younger half-brother lacked leadership qualities.

But he had said he was not interested in assuming the leadership himself.

Unnamed US government sources have said they believe he was poisoned by North Korean agents.

South Korean spy chief Lee Byung-ho told South Korean MPs that Pyongyang had wanted to kill Kim Jong-nam for several years, but that he was being protected by China.

But some analysts question what motive Kim Jong-un would have to kill his estranged half-brother, given the risk of the operation and possibilities for embarrassment, added to the fact that he was not seen as a threat to Mr Kim’s leadership.

Still, Mr Kim was reportedly targeted for assassination in the past. A North Korean spy jailed by South Korea in 2012 is said to have admitted trying to organise a hit-and-run accident targeting him.

The secretive state has a long history of sending agents overseas to carry out assassinations, attacks and kidnappings.

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