North Korea accused South Korea of sending ships across the disputed sea boundary to find the body of a South Korean official recently killed by North Korean troops, warning on Sunday the intrusion could escalate tensions. South Korea denied the accusation.
“We urge the South side to immediately halt the intrusion across the military demarcation line in the West Sea that may lead to escalation of tensions,” the official Korean Central News Agency said. “It arouses our due vigilance as it may lead to another awful incident.”
South Korea proposed a joint investigation to resolve discrepancies over the South Korean official’s death last week. Officials in Seoul have said the 47-year-old was likely attempting to defect before North Korean troops fatally shot him and burned his body.
According to Seoul, North Korea on Friday sent a message, including a rare apology by leader Kim Jong-un for the shooting death of the official.
The North Korean message distributed by South Korea said its troops shot the official because he attempted to flee after refusing to answer their questions. It said the troops were unable to find the official’s body and burned the object he was floating on in line with anti-coronavirus rules.