coronavirus update indiaas on : 20 October 2020 05:22 GMT+5:30
North Korea Allegedly Shoots South Korean Official,Burns His Body: Seoul
Pyongyang has closed its borders and declared an emergency to try to protect itself against the virus which first emerged in neighbouring China.
North Korea Allegedly Shoots South Korean Official, Burns His Body: Seoul
New Delhi: On Thursday South Korea said that North Korean troops fatally shot a South Korean government official who may have attempted to defect and set his body on fire after they found him on a floating object in waters near the rivals' disputed sea boundary.
As per the Seoul's announcement, the man disappeared from the government ship that was checking on potential unauthorized fishing in an area south of the boundary on Monday, a day before he was found in North Korean waters.
It is the first killing of the Southern citizen by North Korean forces for a decade and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the pandemic and the inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from the patrol vessel near the western border island of the Yoenpyeong on Monday, South Korean military officials told AFP.
North Korean more than 24 hours later forces located him in their waters and questioned him from a patrol boat, he said, with Yonhap news agency adding his interrogator wore the protective equipment.
As per the officials, he was killed around six hours after being found.
"He was shot dead in the water," he said. "North Korean soldiers poured oil over his body and burnt it in the water.
"We assess it was carried out under the North's anti-coronavirus measure," he added.
Pyongyang has closed its borders and declared an emergency to try to protect itself against the virus which first emerged in neighboring China.
The official said that the man was wearing a lifejacket and his shoes had been found on board the South Korean boat, indicators pointing to him entering the water voluntarily.
"We have obtained intelligence that he had expressed his intention to defect while being questioned," he added. Seoul's defence ministry condemned the shooting as an "outrageous act".
"We sternly warn North Korea that all responsibilities for this incident lie with it," it said in a statement.
The isolated North whose crumbling health system would struggle to cope with a major virus outbreak has not confirmed a single case of the disease that has swept the world.
To try to prevent the contamination, Pyongyang closed its border with China in January, and in July state media said it had raised its state of emergency to the maximum level.
North Korean officials that same month put the border city of Kaesong under lockdown after a defector who had fled to the South three years ago sneaked back over the heavily fortified borders, amid fear that he may have carried the coronavirus.
The North Korena soldier in 2008, gunned down a female South Korean tourist who walked into a forbidden area at the North's Mount Kumgang resort, prompting Seoul to suspend the money-spinning visits.