North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has issued a rare personal apology for the killing of a South Korean official, Seoul says.
Mr Kim reportedly told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that the “disgraceful affair” shouldn’t have happened.
South Korea has said the 47-year-old man was found by troops floating within the North’s waters.
He was then shot dead and his body was set alight, consistent with Seoul. The killing – the primary of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade – has caused outrage within the South.
The border between the Koreas is tightly policed, and therefore the North is assumed to possess a “shoot-to-kill” policy in situ to stop coronavirus from entering the country.
What did Kim say in his apology?
The apology came within the sort of a letter sent to President Moon which acknowledged that the incident shouldn’t have happened, consistent with South Korea’s presidential office, also referred to as the Blue House.
Mr Kim called it a “disgraceful affair” and said he felt “very sorry” for “disappointing” Mr Moon and therefore the South Korean people, the Blue House said. it’s the North’s first official discuss the incident.
The North also gave the South the results of its investigation – it said quite 10 shots were fired at the person , who had entered North Korean waters then did not reveal his identity and tried to escape , South Korea’s director of national security Suh Hoon said.
However the North insisted that it had not burned the adult male body but rather the “floating material” that was carrying him.
“The troops couldn’t locate the unidentified trespasser during an enquiry after firing the shots, and burned the device under national emergency disease prevention measures,” Mr Suh told an appointment , pertaining to the North Korean account.
The presidential office in Seoul has also decided to release recent letters between the 2 leaders.
In them Kim Jong-un said he understood “more than anyone the type of pressure and hardship” required to beat the coronavirus pandemic and damage from recent typhoons. it had been the “heartfelt truth” that he shared the “pain and suffering of the Southern people”, he said.
This incident could are a disaster for any hopes of rekindling talks between the South’s President Moon and therefore the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
As it is many South Koreans won’t forgive or forget easily. they’re shocked and outraged at what appears to possess been the brutal killing of an unarmed civilian in North Korean waters. it’s yet one more reminder of North Korea’s often merciless regime.
It’s also worth noting that the North’s account of the killing doesn’t match the small print given by officials within the South. However, this rare personal apology from Kim Jong-un may go how to assuage Southern anger.
If there had been no apology, Mr Kim’s warm letter to Mr Moon would are wasted. By a minimum of attempting to smooth things over, Mr Kim could also be signalling his willingness to stay talking.
What happened to the man?
The father-of-two, who worked for the fisheries department, was on his patrol ship about 10km (6 miles) from the border with the North, near the island of Yeonpyeong, when he disappeared on Monday, the South Korean defence ministry said.
He had left his shoes behind on the boat. South Korean media said he had recently divorced and had financial problems.
A North Korean patrol ship found the person , who was wearing a life vest , stumped at around 15:30 civil time on Tuesday.
They put gas masks on and questioned him from a distance before “orders from [a] superior authority” came therein the person be killed, South Korea said. He was shot dead within the water.
South Korea says North Korean troops then burned the corpse stumped .
What has the reaction been within the South?
President Moon Jae-in called the killing a “shocking” incident that would not be tolerated. He urged the North to require “responsible” measures over the attack.
The country’s National Security Council said the North could “not justify shooting and burning the corpse of our unarmed citizen who showed no sign of resistance”.
Officials said that they had done a “thorough analysis of diverse intelligence”, but it had been not clear how exactly that they had gathered the knowledge .
The military hotline between North and South was cut in June, and therefore the inter-Korean liaison office, which was built to assist each side communicate, was destroyed by North Korea . But South Korean military is understood to intercept the North’s radio communications, AFP press agency reports.
Source: bbc news