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Malaysia embalms Kim Jong-nam’s decaying corpse

The Malaysian government announced will keep the corpse of Kim Jong-nam embalmed in Kuala Lumpur to preserve it until it is claimed by relatives

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Kuala Lumpur, March 14:  The Malaysian government announced on Tuesday that the corpse of Kim Jong-Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was embalmed in Kuala Lumpur to preserve it until it is claimed by relatives.

“Because if it was kept in the mortuary, the body might decompose so we did this to preserve the body,” Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told the media during a press conference.

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The embalming of the 45-year-old Kim Jong-nam, who died on February 13 after being sprayed in the face with the toxic VX nerve agent, comes amid a heated diplomatic row between North Korea and Malaysia over the police investigation into the alleged murder.

Pyongyang maintains that Kim Jong-nam died of cardiac arrest and criticised the Malaysian probe as a propaganda ploy aligned with South Korean and US interests.

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As a response, Malaysia on March 6 expelled the North Korean ambassador and now plans to deport 50 North Korean workers from Sarawak on Borneo island, while Pyongyang is holding nine Malaysians hostage inside the country.

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Malaysian Health Minister Subramaniam Sathasivam on Monday gave Kim Jong-Nam’s next of kin up to three weeks to claim the now-embalmed body. (IANS)

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Face Mask of Kim Jong-un Stirs Controversy

Kim has led North Korea since the death of its former dictator, his father Kim Jong-il, in 2011

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Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un face mask stirs controversy.

A South Korean fashion and cosmetics firm has stirred controversy with a facial mask featuring Kim Jong-un prompting many stores to pull the product of the shelves.

The so-called “nuke masks” were created by 5149, a South Korean fashion and cosmetics company. It said it has sold more than 25,000 “unification moisture nuclear masks” since June, the BBC reported.

Many South Korean stores, though, halted the sales amid a public backlash and concerns over the masks’ legality.

In South Korea it is illegal to speak favourably of the North Korean government, though the law is rarely enforced.

Dozens of Koreans have posted pictures of themselves on social media with the masks, which cost 4,000 won, the BBC said.

Propaganda-style slogans claim the masks contain mineral water from Mount Paektu, the sacred, active volcano, which is the birthplace of Dangun, founder of the first Korean kingdom more than 4,000 years ago, according to Korean mythology.

“Personally, I don’t like merchandise promoting a certain political agenda,” Irene Kim, a South Korean skincare expert, told the South China Morning Post.

“A few years ago, North Korea was the largest threat to our country… Kim Jong-un was seen as a dictator and a tyrant who would stop at nothing to disrupt world peace, now he’s become the face of a popular face mask,” she added.

Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong Un.

The North Korean leader and his regime have been criticised by the UN for “systematic, widespread” human rights abuses.

Both North and South Korea are still technically at war, but leaders from both countries attended talks this year over denuclearisation.

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In an interview with the New York Times, 5149 CEO Kwak Hyeon-ju said she wanted the masks to celebrate the “once in a lifetime” Korean summits held earlier this year.

Kim has led North Korea since the death of its former dictator, his father Kim Jong-il, in 2011.

The country’s communist regime has been criticised by the UN and human rights groups for “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations”. (IANS)