North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has apologized after the fatal shooting of a South Korean fisheries official by the military earlier this week, Yonhap news agency reported on Friday, citing the presidential office. In a formal letter sent to Seoul, the North conveyed Kim’s message that he felt “very sorry” for “disappointing” South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
North Korea shot and later burned the body of a missing South Korean official, South Korea’s military said on Thursday, condemning the killing and demanding punishment for those responsible. The military confirmed earlier news reports that a South Korean fisheries official had been shot dead by North Korean troops after apparently attempting to defect across the two countries’ maritime border.
North Korea is continuing work on its nuclear program and several countries believe Pyongyang has made gains in producing ballistic missiles with small nuclear devices attached, according to a confidential United Nations (UN) report, a UN diplomat told CNN. The latest report was prepared by a UN-appointed independent panel of experts, who are charged with monitoring sanctions enforcement and efficacy.
North Korea has decided to suspend military action plans against South Korea, the official KCNA news agency reported on Wednesday, as a report suggested North Korean troops were taking down loudspeakers recently reinstalled at the fortified border. Political tensions between the rival Koreas have been rising over Pyongyang’s objections to plans by defector-led groups in the South to send propaganda leaflets into the North.
North Korea has been urged to abandon plans to send 12 million propaganda leaflets to the South using balloons. North Korea has been urged to abandon plans to send 12 million propaganda leaflets to the South using balloons. South Korea has called on Pyongyang to suspend its plan, saying the leaflets “are not helpful to relations at all”.
North Korea on Tuesday bombed an inter-Korean liaison office in a town on the border with South Korea in an escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula. South Korea’s vice unification minister, Suh Ho, who co-headed the liaison office, said the bombing was “unprecedented in inter-Korean relations,” calling it “a nonsensical act that should have not happened.”
North Korea will shut down a liaison office it shares with South Korea by noon on Tuesday, along with other official communication lines including a hotline between its leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-In. State media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the country was cutting communication lines because South Korean authorities had “connived” to carry out “hostile acts” against North Korea.
Shots fired by North Korea across its border with South Korea were probably “accidental”, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. Both countries exchanged gunfire around a southern guard post – the first time there has been gunfire at the border since 2017. The shots were fired across the border by North Korean troops at 7.41am and South Korea responded by broadcasting a warning and firing two shots at the North.
South Korean officials are emphasizing that they have detected no unusual movements in North Korea and are cautioning against reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may be ill or is being isolated because of coronavirus concerns. At a closed door forum on Sunday, South Korea’s Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul said the government has the intelligence capabilities to say with confidence that there were no indications of anything unusual.
China and South Korea cast doubt on Tuesday on reports North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was gravely ill after media outlets said he underwent a cardiovascular procedure. Speculation over the state of his health was fuelled by his absence from a key anniversary event with the Daily NK, a specialty website run mostly by North Korean defectors, on Tuesday citing unidentified sources in the isolated state.