SEOUL: South Korea said on Saturday (Sep 26) it will ask North Korea to further investigate the shooting death of a South Korean official, Yonhap News Agency said, as public and political outrage over the killing grew.
South Korea said it would call for a joint probe into the case with the North if needed, Yonhap said, citing a presidential office.
In a rare move on Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un apologised for the fatal shooting of the South Korean fisheries official, saying it was meant to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
The apology came a day after South Korean officials said the North’s soldiers killed the man, doused his body in fuel and set it on fire.
Moon faces intense political fallout over the incident, which coincided with a renewed push by him for engagement with Pyongyang.
Critics accused Moon of failing to save a citizen’s life and being soft on North Korea, saying the military did not attempt to save him despite spotting him six hours before he was shot dead.
South Korean officials said the man had run up debt and likely sought to defect to the North. But his brother refuted that, saying he had just got a new boat and must have had some sort of accident.
“Not everyone who has debts wants to go to the North,” the brother, Lee Rae-jin, said on social media.
“What the military was doing when he was floating around our waters for almost a day?”