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World Kim Jong Un issues rare apology to South Korea over death of official

15:26  25 september  2020
15:26  25 september  2020 Source:   nbcnews.com

South Korea Says North Korea Killed its Citizen, Burned Body

  South Korea Says North Korea Killed its Citizen, Burned Body A South Korean government employee who went missing near a heavily patrolled nautical border was fatally shot by North Korean military personnel, the first such killing of a civilian in about a decade. © Bloomberg South Korean Marine Corps soldiers patrol Guridong beach on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea, on Friday, June 26, 2020. On the sleepy island of Yeonpyeong, the threat of conflict is constant with North Korean coastal howitzers just 11 kilometers (7 miles) away and propaganda banners visible through binoculars.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a rare apology on Friday over the killing of a South Korean official who was apparently trying to defect near the rivals' disputed sea boundary.

Kim Jong-un, Moon Jae-in standing in front of a screen © Provided by NBC News

"Comrade Chairman Kim Jong Un asked to convey the message that he is very sorry about creating a huge disappointment to our southern compatriots and President Moon Jae-In because of this unfortunate incident that happened in our waters," a letter sent to South Korea's presidential Blue House said.

Seoul: North Korea's Kim apologizes over shooting death

  Seoul: North Korea's Kim apologizes over shooting death SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has apologized over the killing of a South Korea official. South Korea’s presidential office said Friday that Kim conveyed an apology in a message to South Korea. It cited Kim as calling the incident “unexpected” and “unfortunate.” It’s extremely unusual for a North Korean leader to apologize to rival South Korea on any issue. On Thursday, South Korea accused North Korea of fatally shooting one of its public servants who was likely trying to defect and burning his body after finding him on a floating object in North Korean waters earlier this week.

It was sent by the Unification Division, the North Korean body in charge of relations with its southern neighbor.

It is extremely unusual for a North Korean leader to apologize on any issue.

But it came after South Korea's Defense Ministry said Thursday that the North had shot and burned the body of a South Korean official who disappeared from a government boat earlier in the week.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called the incident "shocking" and "very regretful," as it fueled anti-North sentiment and sparked a public backlash.

The North Korean letter admitted that after initially firing blanks its military had shot "some ten rounds" of gunfire into the unidentified "intruder," as he did not reveal his identity and appeared to flee.

Kim Jong Un says he is 'very sorry' after North Korean soldiers shot dead a South Korean man and allegedly set his body on fire as a precaution against coronavirus

  Kim Jong Un says he is 'very sorry' after North Korean soldiers shot dead a South Korean man and allegedly set his body on fire as a precaution against coronavirus South Korea says the man was doused in oil and then set on fire by the North Koreans in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.North Korean soldiers shot dead a 47-year-old South Korean fisheries official, then covered his body in oil and set it on fire in a bid to ensure he did not carry coronavirus into the country, according to an official account from Seoul, which was cited by Reuters.

It added that for safety reasons due to the coronavirus pandemic, they had burnt the floating device he washed up on and did not find his body.

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The missive did, however, chide Seoul for using "blasphemous and confrontational words" to condemn the North over the incident, before asking for an explanation of the event. But nonetheless said North Korea would take steps to prevent trust between the countries from collapsing.

"Our leadership stressed that we stay more alert and be more aware so that the mutual trust and respect built between North Korea and South Korea is not destroyed by this regrettable incident," the letter said.

a large ship in a body of water: Image: South Korea's government ships are seen near Yeonpyeong island, South Korea, (Baek Seung-ryul / AP) © Baek Seung-ryul Image: South Korea's government ships are seen near Yeonpyeong island, South Korea, (Baek Seung-ryul / AP)

The South Korean coast guard said earlier on Friday that their ships were searching the waters near the boundary in case the official's body drifts back. They said they were checking the 47-year-old man's cellphone records, bank accounts and insurance details to find out more about his disappearance, which remains unexplained.

The western sea boundary is where several bloody inter-Korean naval skirmishes and deadly attacks have occurred in past years.

Here’s What Kim Jong Un Might Have Planned for Trump in October

  Here’s What Kim Jong Un Might Have Planned for Trump in October Missile trucks gathering in Pyongyang. Activity at a key North Korean submarine facility. South Korean media reports about a possible U.S. visit by Kim Jong Un’s sister. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); After months of relative silence, North Korea has begun to stir in recent weeks, with signs that the regime is preparing for a fresh flourish of military might. That’s stoked speculation that Kim might be planning an October surprise for President Donald Trump before the U.S.

Earlier this summer, tensions escalated between the two countries, as Pyongyang cut off communication hotlines with the South and theatrically demolished an inter-Korean liaison office set-up to foster better ties between the two.

North Korea also lashed out at the South and North Koreans defectors living there for propaganda leaflets and balloons that were parachuted into the North.

But more recently, Moon and Kim exchanged letters to share hopes to rebuild relations after tackling the coronavirus, South Korean officials said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

North Korea is likely to start acting up again during the US presidential election — but this year might be different .
North Korea historically conducts border clashes and long-range missile launches near US elections.The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a nonpartisan think-tank in Washington, D.C., recently examined North Korea's behavior during a 64-year span and found that it averaged a provocative act within 4.5 weeks before or after a midterm or presidential election.

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