Malaysia's police chief on Friday confirmed that the man assassinated at the Kuala Lumpur international airport last month was Kim Jong-Nam, half-brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un.
"We've now established that Kim Chol is Kim Jong-Nam," said Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar, but declined to give details of how the body's identity was confirmed.
The 45-year-old was carrying a passport bearing the name of Kim Chol when he was attacked on 13 February with the lethal nerve agent VX by two women. Malaysian authorities had earlier declined to officially confirm the victim's identity or release his body, saying they needed a DNA sample from next-of-kin.
Kim Jong-Nam’s wife and children, who were living in exile in the Chinese territory of Macau, have since gone into hiding over fears that his 21-year-old son, Kim Han-Sol, could be seen as a potential rival by his uncle Kim Jong-Un in a country roiled by bloody purges.
The brazen Cold War-style killing triggered a bitter diplomatic row between the previously friendly Asian nations, which have expelled each other's ambassador and refused to let their citizens leave.
North Korea never confirmed the identity of the dead man, but denounced the Malaysian investigation as an attempt to smear the secretive regime, insisting that he most likely died of a heart attack.
Expelled North Korean ambassador Kang Chol slammed what he called a "pre-targeted investigation by the Malaysian police" on Monday, just before leaving the country.
Pyongyang retaliated by formally expelling his Malaysian counterpart, who was already back in Kuala Lumpur for consultations.