A general view of the North Korean coastline.
A South Korean fisheries official who went missing this week was questioned in North Korean waters before being shot dead by troops who then doused his body in oil and set it on fire, South Korea's military said on Thursday.
South Korea's military said evidence suggested the man was attempting to defect to the North when he was reported missing from a fisheries boat on Monday about 10 km (6 miles) south of the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a disputed demarcation of military control that acts as the de facto maritime boundary between the two Koreas.
The exact reason the 47-year-old official was shot is not known but North Korean troops may have been acting under anti-coronavirus orders, South Korea's military said.
Citing intelligence sources, the military said the unidentified man appeared to have been questioned at sea north of the NLL before he was executed on an “order from a superior authority”. Troops in gas masks then doused the body in oil and set it on fire.
The military said it sent a message on Wednesday to the North through the land border demanding explanations, but has not received any response yet.
“Our military strongly condemns such an atrocity, and strongly demands North Korea provide explanations and punish those who are responsible,” General Ahn Young-ho, who is in charge of operations at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a briefing.
The US military commander in South Korea said this month that North Korean troops had been given “shoot-to-kill orders” to prevent the coronavirus entering the country.
In July, a man who had defected to South Korea three years ago triggered a coronavirus scare when he crossed back over the heavily monitored border into North Korea, which says it has had no cases of the disease.
His arrival prompted North Korean officials to lock down a border city and quarantine thousands of people over fears he may have had the coronavirus, though the World Health Organization later said his test results were inconclusive.
Last week, South Korean police arrested a defector who they said had tried to return to North Korea by breaking into a military training site in South Korea's border town of Cheorwon.
The unidentified active-duty soldier was first detected by thermal imaging equipment moving south near the Imjin River late on Wednesday and South Korean troops took him into custody
The Joint Chiefs of Staff member said the man was found about 9:50am on the eastern end of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas. He also added that there was no unusual movement among North Korean troops.
A senior North Korea diplomat who vanished in Italy in late 2018 lives in South Korea under government protection, lawmakers said on Wednesday.
In a statement given to 'Nation Shield,' the UAE Armed Forces magazine, Sheikh Khalifa added that these sacrifices are "medals of pride" that will adorn "our chests and those of our children and grandchildren."
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In his message, Modi thanked Sheikh Mohammed and the UAE government for the efforts of the country’s health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, protect the entire community, reduce the spread of the virus...