The North Korean forces shot dead a South Korean working in the fishery who, disappeared from the patrol boat on which he was sailing, found himself in the territorial waters of Pyongyang, announced Thursday the ministry of Defense of Seoul, calling this act of “scandalous”.
The 47-year-old was aboard a ship sailing near the western border island of Yeonpyeong, the ministry said in a statement.
After analyzing intelligence, the South Korean military “confirmed” that the North had “shot dead a South Korean national found in North Korean territorial waters and cremated his body.”
“We solemnly warn North Korea that all responsibilities related to this incident are incumbent upon it,” she added.
It is not yet clear why this official ended up in the water.
Media reported that his shoes were found aboard the patroller, suggesting that he would have wanted to defect.
In July, a North Korean defector who had fled to the South three years ago returned to his country, successfully crossing the “demarcation line” which acts as a border with South Korea.
This had prompted the North Korean authorities to order the confinement of the city of Kaesong, located on the border, for fear that it would carry the coronavirus.
The commander of US forces in South Korea, Robert Abrams, claimed that the North Korean authorities ordered the shooting of those who tried to enter the country from China, in order to prevent an epidemic of coronavirus.
A “buffer zone” at the border has been created, with special forces soldiers ready to fire.
So far, Pyongyang has claimed it has not recorded any cases of Covid-19 in its territory.
North Korea closed its borders in late January, when the epidemic was exploding in China, and imposed drastic restrictions on its population, including strict containment of thousands of people.