South Korea will call on North Korea to further investigate the shooting death of one of its officials, as public and political outrage over the murder escalates.
After a National Security Council meeting on Friday, South Korea said on Saturday it would call for a joint investigation into the affair with the North if necessary, saying there were discrepancies in accounts of the crash. on both sides.
The South Korean military said Thursday that North Korean soldiers killed the man, sprayed his body with fuel and set him on fire near the sea border.
But the North Korean government said in a message on Friday that its soldiers had shot “the illegal intruder” and denied having burned his body.
In the post, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was cited as apologizing for disappointing his counterpart, Moon Jae-in, and the South Korean people.
The main South Korean opposition party People Power said on Saturday that Kim’s apology was not genuine and that the case should be referred to the International Criminal Court and the UN Security Council.
The Moon government faces intense political pressure over how it has responded to the incident, which has coincided with a further push by the president for engagement with Pyongyang.
Critics accused Moon of failing to save a citizen’s life and being forgiving of North Korea, saying the military did not attempt to save him despite spotting him six hours before he was shot.
The government official was reported missing while on duty on a fishing boat near Yeonpyeongdo Island, near South Korea’s sea border.
The South Korean military said the man was apparently trying to defect north, but his brother denied the allegations, saying he must have had an accident.