North Korea apologizes for shooting death of South Korea amid public backlash


North Korea regretted on Friday that it shot dead a missing South Korean to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the South’s national security adviser said, amid growing political and public backlash.North Korea’s United Front department, responsible for cross-border relations, sent a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s office a day after Seoul officials said North Korean soldiers killed a South Korean before spraying his body with oil and setting it on fire. .

The rare message came as Moon faced intense political fallout in the wake of the incident, which coincided with a new push for a policy to engage Pyongyang.

The letter quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as saying he was “sorry” the incident had disappointed the South Korean public and should not have happened, Moon security adviser said. , Suh Hoon.

The soldiers fired more than 10 shots at the man, a South Korean fisheries official who went missing this week, after he did not reveal his identity and tried to flee, Suh said, citing the letter.

But the letter says they burned a flotation device he was using, according to their anti-virus manuals, and not his body.

A South Korean government vessel for fishing patrols is seen Thursday near Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea. North Korean soldiers fired more than 10 shots at a South Korean fisheries official who went missing this week, killing him, according to a South Korean official. (Choi Jin-suk / Newsis / AP)

“Troops were unable to locate the unidentified intruder during a search after firing the shots and set the device on fire as part of national emergency disease prevention measures,” Suh ​​said. during a briefing, referring to the letter.

South Korean president says shooting unforgivable

The shooting shocked many South Koreans and sparked a backlash from opposition lawmakers, prompting Moon to issue an unusually strict response calling it “unforgivable.”

In 2008, North Korean troops shot dead a South Korean tourist who was walking through a no-go area while staying at a North Korean resort, resulting in inter-Korean tourism projects being halted. Moon has pledged to reopen touring programs.

The military announced the death of the fisheries chief a day after Moon proposed a new regional disease control and health initiative, including North Korea, to deal with crises such as the coronavirus and links tense with Pyongyang.

Moon and Kim recently exchanged letters to share their hopes of rebuilding relationship after battling the coronavirus, Suh said.


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