Ruling party leader denounces North’s shooting of S. Korean official to death as ‘unpardonable’
SEOUL, Ruling Democratic Party leader Rep. Lee Nak-yon denounced the North Korean military’s shooting of a South Korean official to death as “unpardonable brutality” Thursday, expressing strong regrets.
“The North Korean military’s action of intentionally shooting an unarmed civilian who was drifting on the sea and then burning the body constitutes an act of brutality that is unpardonable under any circumstance,” Lee said.
The remarks were made after Lee and other party officials received a briefing on the incident from Vice Defense Minister Park Jae-min at the National Assembly.
The ruling party chairman also expressed “strong regrets” over the shooting death of the South Korean government employee.
According to the Ministry of National Defense, the 47-year-old man, who worked for the oceans ministry’s unit for fisheries inspection, disappeared while on duty aboard an inspection boat in waters near the western sea border with North Korea on Monday.
The next day, he was found drifting on the sea by a North Korean vessel. The ministry said there is circumstantial evidence that he tried to defect to the North.
Later that day, however, the North Korean military shot him to death on the sea and burned his body there, the ministry said, citing intelligence.
“The latest incident squarely runs afoul of the spirit of the Panmunjom Declaration and the Pyongyang Joint Declaration,” Lee said, referring to the agreements signed between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2018.
It also dashed the South Korean people’s hopes for a better inter-Korean relationship and a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, he added.
“The DP strongly demands an apology for the act against humanity as well as punishment for those who are responsible,” the party chairman said.
Lee also called on the government to promptly inform the public of the details of the incident and come up with measures to curb any North Korean threats toward South Korean nationals in the border areas.
Source: Yonhap News Agency