South Korea says slain man tried to defect to North Korea

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SEOUL, KOREA, REPUBLIC OF —
South Korea mentioned Tuesday {that a} authorities official slain by North Korean sailors needed to defect, concluding that the person, who had playing money owed, swam in opposition to unfavourable currents with the assistance of a life jacket and a floatation machine and conveyed his intention of resettling in North Korea.

Senior coast guard officer Yoon Seong-hyun mentioned at a televised briefing that there was a “very low risk” that the person might have fallen from a ship or tried to kill himself as a result of he was placing on a life jacket when he was present in North Korean waters final week.

Yoon mentioned tidal currents on the time would additionally make it extraordinarily troublesome for him to float into North Korean waters naturally.

The coast guard mentioned its evaluation was based mostly on an evaluation of tidal currents within the space, a go to to a authorities boat the official had been aboard earlier than his disappearance, investigation of his monetary transactions and a gathering with South Korean Defence Ministry officers.

Yoon mentioned the person conveyed his want to defect earlier than his dying. He cited intelligence displaying North Korea knew the person’s identify, age, peak and hometown as an proof of his communication with the North.

Yoon did not elaborate. However some specialists mentioned he probably was referring to South Korea’s interception of communications amongst North Korean officers concerning the man.

Coast guard officers have beforehand mentioned the 47-year-old official was a father of two with some money owed. Yoon mentioned Tuesday the money owed totalled about 330 million received (US$282,240), 80 per cent of which had been from playing.

It is nonetheless unclear whether or not Tuesday’s announcement would sooth mounting questions on why the person was in North Korean waters. The brother of the late official has mentioned it was extra probably that he fell into the ocean accidentally. The official had been aboard a authorities inspection ship earlier than he disappeared.

South Korea has accused North Korea of getting fatally shot him and burning his physique. North Korea acknowledged that its troops killed him as a result of he refused to reply to questions and tried to flee. However North Korea mentioned its troops solely burned the person’s floatation machine.

North Korean chief Kim Jong Un has supplied a uncommon apology over the person’s dying, however his authorities hasn’t confirmed the person was attempting to defect.

The person’s capturing has triggered an enormous political firestorm in South Korea, with conservatives launching fierce political assaults on liberal President Moon Jae-in, who espouses better ties with the North.

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