Soon, both countries had expelled the others' ambassadors.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said: "I had a deep personal concern about this matter, and we worked intensively behind the scenes to achieve this successful outcome".
"Many challenges were overcome to ensure the return of our fellow Malaysians".
The confusion over Kim's nationality explains why it was the South Korean media that initially broke the news. While he is believed to have kept out of politics, he has given brief interviews criticizing dynastic succession in North Korea. South Korean officials said they spotted Kim's private airplane at a test site. suggesting he was giving his approval to move forward with another test.
"The service personnel and people of the DPRK are regarding the dignity of their supreme leadership as their life and soul", it said, according to KCNA Watch, adding criticism of Sen Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for saying that North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism.
The body of the slain half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will also now be allowed to return to North Korea, the statement said, after Malaysia received a letter from his family requesting his repatriation.
The two countries did not say whether that included the three suspects.
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- March 15: Malaysia's deputy prime minister says investigators used a DNA sample from a child of Kim Jong-Nam to confirm his identity.
Najib said Malaysia's investigation into the murder of Kim Jong Nam would go on.
"I have instructed for all possible measures to be taken to bring those responsible for this murder to justice".
North Korea, which is widely suspected to be behind the attack, has rejected the post-mortem examination findings. North Korea does not even acknowledge the victim is Kim Jong Nam, referring to him instead as Kim Chol, the name on the passport he was carrying when he died.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un previously warned in a January 1 address that his regime had "entered the final stage of preparation for a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile".
"The effect had to be planned", said Robert L. Gallucci, a former United States chief negotiator with North Korea over its nuclear program.
McCain responded Wednesday, wondering if they wanted him to call the dictator "a insane skinny kid" instead.
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The brazen nature of the assassination also made collecting evidence relatively easy.
CCTV footage shows the pair approach Mr Kim as he waited for a flight and smearing VX nerve agent on his face. Kim was assassinated at Kuala Lumpur airport on Feb 13.
- February 15: An autopsy by Malaysian authorities begins.
Malaysian police did not respond to requests for comment.
North Korea and Malaysia's historically close ties began to unravel in the wake of Kim's death, hitting a nadir when Pyongyang banned nine Malaysian citizens from leaving the country in retaliation for the Kim investigation.
In response, Malaysian leaders banned North Koreans from leaving their country, leading to a three-week diplomatic standoff.
Those talks have yet to conclude.
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Two Southeast Asian women have been charged with Kim Jong Nam's murder as co-assassins, and at least seven North Korean nationals have been identified by Malaysian police as wanted for questioning in the case.