Surviving family of official killed by N. Korea files damages suit against Pyongyang

SEOUL-- The surviving family of a South Korean fisheries official killed by North Korean soldiers in 2020 filed a lawsuit Friday seeking compensation from Pyongyang for psychological pain due to the fatal incident.

In September 2020, North Korea fatally shot the 47-year-old official, who was adrift on its side of the Yellow Sea, and burned his body, according to the South Korean military. He went missing the previous day while on duty near the western border island of Yeonpyeong.

In the suit filed Friday with the Seoul Central District Court, the family demanded the North pay the son and daughter of the late official a total of 200 million won (US$159,000), claimingthe mental suffering, which the children went through was "extremely grave" after learning that the father was killed by burning.

In a statement, the son acknowledged the suit may end up being futile but stressed the family had no choice but to hold the North legally responsible as the Seoul government "failed to live up to its basic responsibility."

Since the fatal incident, the family has since demanded the government disclose related information behind the official's death and launched a litigation for the disclosure of all relevant government information.

The Seoul Administrative Court has ordered Cheong Wa Dae's National Security Office and the defense ministry to provide undisclosed information on the official's death to his family, but the two offices have appealed the ruling.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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