Seoul's Defense Minister has apologized to the South Korean people following heavy criticism over the military's handling of the situation concerning a North Korean fishing boat that crossed into South Korean waters last week and went undetected for more than three days.
"The military is gravely aware of the situation and offers its deepest apology to the people. With this incident, the military will tighten its operational and work discipline and penalize those responsible after a thorough inspection of the military's security operations.
He also vowed to meticulously explain various suspicions regarding the incident to regain public trust in the military and reprimand those responsible for the false reporting or concealment of the incident from the public.
The ministry has begun a probe into the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as the navy and army troops in charge of maritime surveillance concerning the incident.
The ministry says its investigation team will help it to devise measures to prevent similar incidents from happening again.