Photo: Yonhap News
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has apologized for the shooting of a South Korean official at sea earlier this week.
Cheong Wa Dae revealed Friday that the regime leader sent a message to Seoul, calling the incident an "unexpected and disgraceful event."
Ron Chang reports.
The rare message from the North conveyed leader Kim felt very sorry for "disappointing" President Moon Jae-in and the South Korean people over the incident that occurred in its waters, rather than helping them amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Suh Hoon, the head of the presidential National Security Office, read out a letter from the North's United Front Department that also gave details surrounding the South Korean official's death.
It said more than 10 shots had been fired at the South Korean official who had "illegally" entered their waters and refused to properly identify himself, in accordance with rules of engagement for maritime border security.
Troops then searched the floating material the man was on but did not find his body.
Seoul's defense ministry earlier said the official was killed by North Korean soldiers on Tuesday, a day after he disappeared from a patrol vessel in waters near the western border island of Yeonpyeong.
The ministry said the man was found by the North Korean military and expressed a desire to defect but was denied after an "order from superior authority."
It's believes he was shot dead by the North and his body burned, apparently as a precaution against COVID-19.
This case marks the first killing of a South Korean by North Korean forces in more than 12 years.
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