North Korea apologizes to South Korea over the recent killing
Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, made a rare apology to South Korea over the recent killing of a South Korean citizen. He made the apology to show his sincerity in what appears to be a tragic irony.
It appears that the South Korean national had sought to defect to North Korea. However, with North Korean border soldiers on high alert to contain the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19), they misread the situation and brutally killed the South Korean defector.
Thus, Kim Jong-un condemned the killing and apologized openly to South Korea. This in itself highlights the desire of North Korea to build bridges again. Even if relations are currently strained.
The leader of North Korea reportedly told the leader of South Korea (Moon Jae-in) that it is a “disgraceful affair.”
It is rare for North Korea to kill South Koreans who are defecting from South Korea. Indeed, the last time this happened was roughly a decade ago. This in itself plays into the suspicion that the armed forces killed him based on the fear of coronavirus.
The BBC reports, “The border between the Koreas is tightly policed, and the North is thought to have a “shoot-to-kill” policy in place to prevent coronavirus from entering the country.”
Kim Jong-un also said he understood the “pain and suffering of the Southern people.” Thus he expressed his “heartfelt truth” about this killing, the struggle South Korea faces against the coronavirus, and recent typhoons.
For North Korea, it is rare to apologize like this. Therefore, the hope is that this tragedy will somehow kickstart a new approach between both nations.
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