North Korea accused South Korea of sending ships throughout the disputed sea boundary to seek out the physique of a South Korean official lately killed by North Korean troops, warning Sunday the intrusion might escalate tensions. South Korea denied the accusation.
“We urge the South aspect to instantly halt the intrusion throughout the army demarcation line within the West Sea that will result in escalation of tensions,” the official Korean Central Information Company mentioned. “It arouses our due vigilance as it could result in one other terrible incident.”
Together with its denial, South Korea proposed a joint investigation to resolve discrepancies in every nation’s account of the South Korean official’s loss of life final week. Officers in Seoul have mentioned the 47-year-old was seemingly making an attempt to defect earlier than North Korean troops aboard a ship fatally shot him and burned his physique.
In keeping with Seoul, North Korea on Friday despatched a message together with a uncommon apology by chief Kim Jong Un for the taking pictures loss of life of the official, who was discovered floating on an object in its waters.
The North Korean message distributed by South Korea mentioned its troops shot the official as a result of he tried to flee after refusing to reply to questions. It mentioned North Korea maintained troops have been unable to seek out the official’s physique and burned the item he was floating on consistent with anti-coronavirus guidelines.
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Sunday’s KCNA report confirmed North Korea notified South Korea on Friday with its account of the incident, however it didn’t say whether or not the notification included an apology from Kim.
South Korea’s army and coast guard responded to North Korea’s declare of a border incursion by saying their ships and plane have been looking waters south of the boundary since Friday in case the official’s physique drifts again.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in met together with his Nationwide Safety Council on Sunday. Moon’s workplace mentioned the council seen Kim’s apology positively and proposed a joint investigation with North Korea to seek out out what occurred to the official.
Senior presidential official Suh Choo-suk mentioned South Korea additionally needs North Korea to revive a suspended army hotline between the nations to facilitate communications.
Kim’s apology was seen as an try to appease anti-North sentiment in South Korea that might make it tough for him to win concessions in any negotiations. Kim is at present struggling to beat worsening financial woes attributable to U.S.-led sanctions over his nuclear program and the pandemic that compelled his nation to shut its border with China, its largest buying and selling accomplice.
Whereas Kim’s apology might assist cut back the danger of escalation of tensions between the rivals, conservatives in South Korea have launched a political offensive in opposition to Moon for failing to forestall the person’s loss of life.
© 2020 The Canadian Press