North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a precaution against COVID-19 after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said on Thursday.
It is the first killing of a Southern citizen by North Korean forces for a decade.
The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, a South Korean military official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and questioned him from a patrol boat, he said, with his interrogator wearing protective equipment. He was killed around six hours after being found, the official said.