Kim Jong-nam: Malaysia releases body of slain half-brother of Kim Jong-un, diplomatic spat ends

Kim Jong-nam: Malaysia releases body of slain half-brother of Kim Jong-un, diplomatic spat ends

Kim Jong-nam: Malaysia releases body of slain half-brother of Kim Jong-un, diplomatic spat ends

Updated 31 March 2017, 3:45 AEDT

Nine Malaysians barred from leaving North Korea are allowed to return home after Malaysia announces the release of the body of Kim Jong-nam, the slain half-brother of North Korea's leader.

Nine Malaysians barred from leaving North Korea have been allowed to return home after Malaysia announced it would release the body of Kim Jong-nam, the slain half-brother of North Korea's leader.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak also announced that North Koreans prevented from leaving Malaysia would be allowed to go home.

Relations between the two countries had been worsening since Kim Jong-nam was allegedly murdered at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February.

Malaysia said he was killed by North Korean operatives who smeared a toxic nerve agent on his skin.

Kim Jong-nam was the dissident half brother of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

Mr Najib said the Malaysian coroner had approved the release of the body, and it would be repatriated to his family in North Korea.

"Following the completion of the autopsy on the deceased and receipt of a letter from his family requesting the remains be returned to North Korea, the coroner has approved the release of the body," Mr Najib said in a statement.

He said investigations into the killing would continue and Malaysian police would take all possible measures to bring those responsible to justice.

A joint statement by the North Korean Government released simultaneously said both countries managed to "resolve issues arising from the death of a DPRK national" in Malaysia at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

"The importance of bilateral relations was reaffirmed," the statement from North Korea read.

"In this connection, both countries agreed to positively discuss the re-introduction of the visa-free system and work towards bringing the relations to a higher level."