North Korea expressed regret on Friday over the death of a missing South Korean, saying it shot him as part of measures to battle the coronavirus, the South’s national security adviser said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in saying the incident should not have happened, the official told a briefing.
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South Korea’s presidential office cited Kim as calling the incident “unexpected” and “unfortunate,” and that the North Korean leader was “deeply sorry.”
It’s extremely unusual for a North Korean leader to apologize to rival South Korea on any issue.
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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.
South Korean officials condemned North Korea for what they called an “atrocious act” and pressed it punish those responsible.
—With files from the Associated Press