North Korea shot burned body of missing S Korean official: Seoul

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North Korea shot and later burned the body of a missing South Korean official, South Korea’s military said on Thursday, condemning the killing and demanding punishment for those responsible.

The military confirmed earlier news reports that a South Korean fisheries official had been shot dead by North Korean troops after apparently attempting to defect across the 2 countries’ maritime border.

“North Korea found the person in its waters and committed an act of brutality by shooting at him and burning his body, consistent with our military’s thorough analysis of diverse intelligence,” the defence ministry said during a statement published by Yonhap press agency .

“Our military strongly condemns such a brutal act and strongly urges the North to supply an evidence and punish those responsible,” the statement added.

“We also sternly warn North Korea that each one responsibilities for this incident roll in the hay it.”

The official was reported missing on Monday from a South Korean fisheries patrol ship when it had been about 10km (6 miles) south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a disputed line of occupation that acts because the de facto maritime boundary between North and South Korea .

It was not clear how the 47-year-old ended up within the water. Earlier reports said his shoes had been found on board the patrol vessel, fuelling speculation that he had decided to defect.

The exact reason why North Korean troops shot him remains unclear, but Yonhap press agency reported they could are acting under anti-coronavirus orders.

The us military commander in South Korea said earlier this month that North Korean troops had been given “shoot-to-kill orders” to stop the coronavirus from entering the country.

While most defections involve North Koreans heading to the South, this year has seen variety of high-profile crossings from the South.

In July, a person who had defected to South Korea three years ago triggered a coronavirus scare when he crossed back over the heavily monitored border into North Korea , which has claimed to possess zero cases of the disease.

His arrival prompted North Korean officials to lock down the border city of Kaesong and quarantine thousands of individuals over fears he may have had coronavirus, although the planet Health Organization later said his test results were inconclusive.

Last week, South Korean police arrested a defector who they said had tried to return to North Korea by breaking into a training site in South Korea’s border town of Cheorwon.

Source: aljazeera

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