North Korean troops killed missing South Korean, then burned body, Seoul says


SEOUL (Reuters) - A South Korean fisheries official who went missing this week was questioned on a North Korean patrol boat before being shot dead by troops who then doused his body in oil and set it on fire, South Korea's military said on Thursday.

South Korea's military said evidence suggested the man was attempting to defect to the North when he was reported missing from a fisheries boat on Monday about 10 km (6 miles) south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a disputed demarcation of military control that acts as the de facto maritime boundary between North and South Korea.

The exact reason the 47-year-old official was shot is not known but North Korean troops may have been acting under anti-coronavirus orders, South Korea's military said.

Citing intelligence sources, the military said the unidentified man appeared to have been questioned on a North Korean boat before he was executed on an "order from a superior authority".

Troops in gas masks then doused the body in oil and set it on fire, the South's military said.

"Our military strongly condemns such an atrocity, and strongly demands North Korea provide explanations and punish those who are responsible," General Ahn Young-ho, who is in charge of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a briefing.

The U.S. military commander in South Korea said this month that North Korean troops had been given "shoot-to-kill orders" to prevent the coronavirus entering the country.

In July, a man who had defected to South Korea three years ago triggered a coronavirus scare when he crossed back over the heavily monitored border into North Korea, which says it has had no cases of the disease.

His arrival prompted North Korean officials to lock down a border city and quarantine thousands of people over fears he may have had the coronavirus, though the World Health Organization later said his test results were inconclusive.

Last week, South Korean police arrested a defector who they said had tried to return to North Korea by breaking into a military training site in South Korea's border town of Cheorwon.

(Reporting by Josh Smith and Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Sam Holmes and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 18
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

100% readers found this article insightful

Next In World

Roundup: U.S. equities gain during holiday-shortened week
NYS governor, NYC mayor ask people to shop locally to support small businesses
Italy's winemaker adapting to fast-growing Chinese market
Chile registers 1,718 new cases from COVID-19
Xinhua Middle East news summary at 2200 GMT, Nov. 28
Croatian PM in self-quarantine after wife contracts COVID-19
NYS COVID-19 test positivity rate in focus areas remains above 5 pct: governor
U.S. San Francisco moves to Purple Tier in COVID-19 classification
France sees further fall in COVID-19 hospitalizations as lockdown exit starts
Roundup: Greece's retailers, restaurants fret over economic toll amid lockdowns

Stories You'll Enjoy