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North Korea says South Korea responsible for death of fisheries official

A south Korean fisheries official who was shot dead by North Korean soldiers while adrift in North Korean waters of the Yellow Sea in September was ultimately a responsibility of South Korea that failed to exercise proper control over its citizen,<strong></strong> the North Korean state media outlet said Friday. Yonhap
A south Korean fisheries official who was shot dead by North Korean soldiers while adrift in North Korean waters of the Yellow Sea in September was ultimately a responsibility of South Korea that failed to exercise proper control over its citizen, the North Korean state media outlet said Friday. Yonhap

North Korea said Friday that South Korea is the first to blame for the death of a fisheries official killed at sea last month because the South failed to exercise proper control over its citizen.

But the North also said such an "accidental" incident should not lead inter-Korean relations to a "catastrophe." It also said it tried its best, unsuccessfully, to search for the body of the South Korean official to return it to his family.

The 47-year-old fisheries official was fatally shot by the North's military while adrift in the North Korean side of the Yellow Sea, according to the South's military. He went missing the previous day while on duty near the western border island of Yeonpyeong.

"Explicitly speaking, the recent inglorious incident in the waters of the West Sea of Korea was the result of improper control of the citizen by the South side in the sensitive hotspot area at a time when there are tension and danger due to the vicious virus sweeping the whole of South Korea," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

"Therefore, the blame for the incident first rests with the South side," the KCNA said.

UN rights official slams North Korea over killing of South Korean at sea UN rights official slams North Korea over killing of South Korean at sea 2020-10-24 15:05  |  North Korea
North Korea also tried its best to retrieve the body of the official to "no avail," it added.

"We are regretful for this and have decided to take sustained necessary measures in the future, too, in the relevant field," it said.

The KCNA also said the North "does not want to see the repetition of any unpleasant precedents in which accidental incidents led the north-south relations to a catastrophe."

It then slammed conservative parties in South Korea, including the People Power Party, for slandering the North and raising the issue of "human rights," while using the incident as an opportunity for "attaining their dirty political purposes."

"We issue an advance warning to the south Korean conservative forces that their thoughtless confrontational act may invite greater misfortune," it added. (Yonhap)



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