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Blue House strongly condemns N. Korea for shooting S. Korean national to death Updated: 2020-09-24 13:27:54 KST

The South Korean presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae has strongly denounced the killing of the man by North Korea.
It convened a meeting of its National Security Council at around noon to discuss response measures to what it called an inhumane act.
For more, we have our presidential correspondent Kim Min-ji on the line.
Min-ji, fill us in.

Devin, South Korea's presidential office has strongly condemned North Korea's killing of a South Korean official calling it inhumane and an act that goes against international regulations.
It said that North Korea will have to provide an explanation and hold accountable those who are responsible for it.
Take a listen.

"North Korea's shooting of the unarmed South Korean national and desecration of his body cannot be justified for any reason. The South Korean government strongly condemns this inhumane act which goes against international norms. North Korea must reveal the entire truth and punish those who are responsible. It must apologize and take measures to prevent this from happening again."

A top Blue House official told reporters that President Moon Jae-in was first briefed on September 22nd, that's Tuesday, following intelligence that a South Korean official had gone missing and that North Korea had found him.
He added that later in the evening, there received intelligence that the man had been shot dead and his body burned.
An emergency meeting was convened in the wee hours of Wednesday involving the national security director, presidential chief of staff, the intel chief and the ministers of defense and unification to analyze the credibility of the source.
And on Wednesday morning, President Moon ordered officials to confirm the details with the North Korean side and let the people know exactly what happened.
In attempting to contact the North, South Korea had to use the UN channel because the inter-Korean communication hotlines have been severed.
Now there's been no response from North Korea on the matter as of yet.
When asked whether South Korea sees any involvement by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Blue House said that the intelligence needs to be analyzed further.

The timing of the man's killing is notable here since President Moon gave his UN address this week and called for an official end to the Korean War to be declared. Does the Blue House see this as a violation of the inter-Korean agreement from two years ago in which both sides promised not to engage in hostilities?

You're right. Moon's UN address was played between 1 AM and 2 AM on Wednesday when the emergency meeting was taking place at the Blue House.
The top office said it was pre-recorded on the 15th and sent to the UN on the 18th so it had no relevance to the recent incident.
But the top office and South Korea's military said they don't see this as a violation of their military agreement because that was related to the suspension of artillery firing.
However, it did say that it goes against the spirit of the deal which aims to ease tensions and build trust.
The latest development is expected to deal a blow to inter-Korean relations, and put the brakes on the Moon administration's efforts to revive the peace process.
President Moon called for a declaration to end the Korean War in his address to the UN General Assembly.
For now, the focus will likely be on managing the situation, and the top office said they will let the people know of any developments.
Back to you, Devin.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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