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N. Korea's killing of S. Korean official related to long, difficult battle against COVID-19: Experts Updated: 2020-09-24 17:06:52 KST

Watchers speculate that North Korea's killing of a missing South Korean goverment offical was carried out in relation to the regime's long, difficult battle against COVID-19.

"The North has tightened measures against defectors coming back to the state and reinforced its national emergency declaration to stop the spread of COVID-19. That's probably why they went as far as shooting someone."

Chairing seven COVID-19-related meetings so far this year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has prioritized the regime's fight against the virus.
That includes controlling its borders.

"It's highly likely that a soldier made the move following their commanders' order in relation to the North's COVID-19 measures. Leaders in Pyeongyang probably have a lot on their minds right now."

It is unlikely that South Korea will share footage of the incident due to the Military Secret Protection Act.
As a result, experts comment that this may allow the North to ignore or even deny their actions.

"The North may express regret in a humanitarian way, but they may also expect the South to understand given its COVID-19 situation."

There has been no comment from the North as of yet.and South Korea's Unification Ministry says there is no direct dialogue channel to reach the regime.
In fact, there has been no official communication between the two Koreas since the North blew up the joint liaison office in Junein retaliation to anti-Pyeongyang leaflets that were sent over the border from the South.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.
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