Kim Jong-un apologizes for killing of South Korean official
Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s authoritarian leader, extended a rare personal apology after North Korean law enforcement killed a South Korean official allegedly attempting to defect. The man was found by troops floating on a raft in North Korean waters, rescued, and then questioned. At some point during or after the questioning, North Korean forces shot him and set his body on fire, according to Seoul. This incident marks the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for over a decade, has sparked outrage in the South.
The border is heavily policed, including on water, and North Korea allegedly follows a “shoot-to-kill” policy to prevent COVID-19 from entering the country at a pivotal point in time for world health. The men who approached and questioned the South Korean official were allegedly dressed in hazmat suits and gas masks, likely attempting to eradicate the possibility of COVID-19 infection by the unknown South Korean national. Mr. Kim issued his apology via a personal letter to President Moon, stating that the incident was a disgrace that should have not happened. North Korea also claimed that 10 shots were fired at the man, who had illegally entered foreign waters and failed to reveal his identity before attempting to flee.