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Malaysia says Kim Jong Nam's body has been embalmed

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2016 file photo, Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi addresses the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. Zahid said Tuesday, March 14, 2017,  that the body of Kim Jong Nam, who was killed in February, has been embalmed to better preserve it, and that about 50 North Koreans whose work permits have expired will be deported.  News of the deportations was a surprise as the countries have barred each other's citizen from leaving amid a diplomatic standoff over Kim's death. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2016 file photo, Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi addresses the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters. Zahid said Tuesday, March 14, 2017, that the body of Kim Jong Nam, who was killed in February, has been embalmed to better preserve it, and that about 50 North Koreans whose work permits have expired will be deported. News of the deportations was a surprise as the countries have barred each other's citizen from leaving amid a diplomatic standoff over Kim's death. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)  (The Associated Press)

Malaysia's deputy premier says the body of Kim Jong Nam, who was killed last month, has been embalmed to better preserve it, and that about 50 North Koreans whose work permits have expired will be deported.

News of the deportations is a surprise as the countries have barred each other's citizen from leaving amid a diplomatic standoff over Kim's death.

Malaysian authorities say the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was killed Feb. 13 after two women smeared his face with the banned VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur's airport. North Korea — widely suspected of being behind the attack — rejects the findings.

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Tuesday that 50 North Koreans in eastern Sarawak state will be sent back to Pyongyang soon.