North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has actually issued a rare an individual apology for the death of a South korean official, Seoul says.

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Mr Kim apparently told South oriental leader Moon Jae-in the the "disgraceful affair" must not have actually happened.

It is not recognized what the man was act there. The southern Korean government has claimed he may have actually been trying to defect to the North yet his family has refuse this.

The death - the very first of a South oriental citizen by north Korean forces for a decade - has actually caused outrage in the South.

The border between the Koreas is strict policed, and the north is thought to have actually a "shoot-to-kill" plan in location to avoid coronavirus indigenous entering the country.

The apology came in the kind of a letter sent to president Moon which identified that the incident must not have actually happened, according to south Korea's presidential office, additionally known as the Blue House.

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Mr Kim referred to as it a "disgraceful affair" and also said that felt "very sorry" because that "disappointing" mr Moon and the South oriental people, the Blue house said. It is the North's an initial official comment on the incident.

The North also gave the south the outcomes of its investigation - it said much more than 10 shots were fired in ~ the man, who had gotten in North oriental waters and then failure to disclose his identity and tried come flee, southern Korea's manager of national security Suh Hoon said.

However the north insisted that it had not shed the man's body yet rather the "floating material" the was carrying him.

"The troops can not locate the unidentified trespasser throughout a find after shooting the shots, and also burned the an equipment under national emergency condition prevention measures," grandfather Suh told a briefing, introduce to the North korean account.

The presidential office in Seoul has additionally decided come release current letters between the two leaders.

In lock Kim Jong-un said he construed "more 보다 anyone the kind of pressure and hardship" compelled to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and also damage from recent typhoons. It was the "heartfelt truth" that he shared the "pain and suffering of the southern people", that said.


This incident can have been a catastrophe for any hopes that rekindling talks in between the South's chairman Moon and also the North korean leader Kim Jong-un.

As that is countless South Koreans will certainly not pardon or forget easily. They room shocked and also outraged in ~ what appears to have been the brutal death of an unarmed civilian in North oriental waters. The is yet one more reminder of phibìc Korea's regularly merciless regime.

It's likewise worth noting the the North's account the the death does not enhance the details offered by officials in the South. However, this rare personal apology native Kim Jong-un might go some way to assuage southerly anger.

If there had actually been no apology, grandfather Kim's warmth letter to grandfather Moon would have actually been wasted. Through at the very least attempting come smooth points over, mr Kim might be signalling his willingness to save talking.

The father-of-two, who operated for the fisheries department, to be on his patrol boat around 10km (6 miles) native the border through the North, near the island of Yeonpyeong, once he disappeared ~ above Monday, the South korean defence set said.


He had actually left his pair of shoes behind ~ above the boat. South oriental media said he had actually recently divorced and had jae won problems.

A North oriental patrol boat found the man, that was attract a life jacket, at sea at around 15:30 regional time ~ above Tuesday.

They placed gas masks on and also questioned him from a distance before "orders indigenous remarkable authority" come in that the male be killed, southern Korea said. He was shot dead in the water.

President Moon Jae-in referred to as the death a "shocking" incident that could not be tolerated. He urged the north to take "responsible" actions over the attack.

The country's national Security Council stated the North might "not justification shooting and burning the corpse of ours unarmed citizens who confirmed no sign of resistance".

Officials stated they had done a "thorough evaluation of diverse intelligence", yet it was no clear how exactly they had actually gathered the information.

The army hotline between North and South was reduced in June, and the inter-Korean liaison office, which was constructed to aid both sides communicate, was destroyed by phibìc Korea. However South oriental military is recognized to intercept the North's radio communications, AFP news agency reports.

Mr Kim's apology come at a time once relations in between the North and also South room at a low point and over there is a stand-off in between Pyongyang and also Washington end the North's atom programme.

South Korea has actually in the past demanded apologies native the North but these have actually rarely been forthcoming. The North has actually refused to apologise for the sinking of a South korean warship in 2010, in which 46 seafarers died, and also denies responsibility. It likewise refused come apologise because that shelling a South korean island the very same year, killing 2 soldiers and two construction workers.

North Korea may be taking extra-tough steps to prevent the coronavirus from entering the country due to the fact that it is believed to be preparing because that a large military parade top top 10 October to mark the 75th anniversary that the structure of the ruling Workers' Party.

Pyongyang close up door its border through China in January to shot to avoid the spread out Covid-19. In July, North korean state media said the country had raised its state of emergency to the maximum level.

Last month, the commander of the united state military's pressures in southern Korea, Robert Abrams, said the North had actually introduced a new "buffer zone" that one to 2 kilometres top top the Chinese border, and that the country had unique operation forces in ar with orders come "shoot-to-kill" anyone coming throughout the border.

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In the past, north Korea has also returned human being who have wandered right into their territory. In 2017, state news firm KCNA said officials would repatriate a South oriental fishing watercraft which "illegally" overcome the border, in what was viewed as a rare humanitarian move.