According to South Korea, a 47-year-old man trying to desert to North Korea was caught in the water and shot, and his body was later burned, BBC and AFP report. It is the first assassination committed by the North Korean army in ten years.
Kim Jong-un has sent a letter to his South Korean counterpart apologizing and acknowledging that the incident should not have taken place, according to a statement from the South Korean presidency.
Kim said he was “very sorry” for “disappointing” Moon Jae-in and the people of South Korea. At the same time, North Korea also provided the results of the investigation into the incident: more than 10 gunshots were fired at the man caught in North Korean waters, who refused to reveal his identity while trying to flee, according to the director of national security in Korea of South Suh Hoon. He also stated that the deserter was not set on fire, but the fire was started on the “floating material” used by him.
“Soldiers were unable to locate the unidentified passer-by during a search for gunfire and set fire to the floating device in the context of emergency disease prevention measures,” Suh Hoon said.