October 05, 2020 09:53
North Korea has ignored demands from President Moon Jae-in for a joint investigation of its brutal killing at sea of a South Korean official.
On Sept. 25, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sent an apology to Cheong Wa Dae, but the following day the North Korean regime in a statement warned South Korea from intruding into its waters in attempts to retrieve the victim's remains. It then retreated into radio silence again.
Cheong Wa Dae said a joint inquiry is necessary because there are differences in the accounts of the incident from the two sides. "The North hasn't responded to our request for a joint inquiry yet, but it hasn't accused us of lying either," a military source here said. "It's clear that it doesn't want to aggravate the situation."
The military here says the official, who had gone missing from a South Korean fisheries patrol ship, was spotted by a North Korean patrol boat, and that North Korean soldiers kept him in the cold water for six hours before summarily firing a dozen rounds into him and incinerating the body.
Kim claimed the official was shot immediately and only his life vest incinerated as part of protection against coronavirus.
North Korean troops are under shoot-to-kill orders for any person or animal approaching within a kilometer of its borders.
Late last week, the official Rodong Sinmun daily said the regime is "stepping up strict quarantine inspection along the coast and its vicinity around the clock in accordance with geographical characteristics of coastal regions."
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