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  • Coast Guard: Slain Fisheries Official Tried To Defect To N. Korea

Korea Coast Guard official Yoon Seong-hyung explains the interim findings of an investigation into the recent killing of a South Korean official by North Korean troops at sea.
Korea Coast Guard official Yoon Seong-hyung explains the interim findings of an investigation into the recent killing of a South Korean official by North Korean troops at sea.
The Korea Coast Guard said Tuesday the South Korean fisheries official shot dead by the North Korean military at sea last week was trying to defect.

Senior coast guard officer Yoon Seong-hyun said at a televised briefing that the conclusion was based on military intelligence, analysis of tidal currents and other circumstantial evidence.

Yoon explained the fisheries official was wearing a life jacket and hanging onto a floating device when he was spotted by the North near the NLL maritime border, and that he could not have reached the area unless he swam there.

Yoon added that North Korea also knew personal details about the man, including his name, age and hometown.

The 47-year-old South Korean is believed to have gone missing on September 21.

An accident or a suicide was considered very unlikely, although the investigation team did not rule out such scenarios.

Yoon also reported that the slain official had debt worth around 330 million won, most of which came from online gambling.

South Korea has accused North Korea of fatally shooting the man and burning his body.

North Korea acknowledged its troops shot the man and burned only his floatation device.

On Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered a rare apology over the incident, but the regime has not confirmed the man was trying to defect.

<Photo: Yonhap News>



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