N. Korea blames S. Korea for death of S. Korean fisheries official
Updated: 2020-10-30 13:16:30 KST
North Korea said it tried its best to retrieve the body of a South Korean fisheries official who was killed in North Korean waters last month, but to no avail.
The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Friday the principal responsibility for the official's death lies in South Korea due to its failure to exercise control over its citizen crossing the sensitive maritime border.
It added the failure stems from the virus engulfing South Korea and said such an "accidental" incident shouldn't lead to a repetition of unpleasant precedents that could result in a catastrophe for inter-Korean relations.
The North also slammed conservative parties in South Korea, including the People Power Party for slandering the North and its human rights issues.
In a statement sent to the Blue House late last month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had delivered his apology for the incident but has not responded to the South's request for a joint investigation.
North Korea's account of the circumstances of the official's death differ from the version released by the South Korean military in which it had stated the North had burned and discarded the man's remains after firing shots.
North Korea claimed that the killing was accidental or unintentional that the man was shot and killed as the soldiers carried out their duty to guard the border and deal with an "illegal intruder."
The South Korean Coast Guard in its intermediate findings said evidence shows the official had an intention to defect.
In response to the North's recent statement, Seoul's unification ministry urged the North to make prompt efforts in uncovering the truth of the case and emphasized that the inter-Korean military communication channels should primarily be restored.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.