Published : 2013-09-29 10:09
Updated : 2013-09-29 10:09
North Korea again condemned South Korea Saturday for shooting to death a defection-seeker earlier this month, asking the international community to pass its own judgement on the case.
On Sept. 16, a 47-year-old South Korean man was shot dead by South Korean soldiers while trying to swim across a border river in an attempt to defect to North Korea. The man had disobeyed an order to return, South Korean officials said.
For the second time in less than a week, North Korea, through its Red Cross society, condemned the incident and asked the international community to pass a "stern judgement" on it.
"Having no desire to live and finding himself in despair, the inhabitant tried to come over to the northern half of Korea, longing for it, his last option," the North's Red Cross said in a statement.
The inter-Korean border is tightly sealed, with more than 2 million troops deployed on both sides. The two Koreas remain technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
South Korean defections to North Korea are rare, while more than 23,000 North Koreans have so far fled to South Korea mostly through China and other third countries.
The South Korean man, described by South Korean officials as having criminal records, attempted to defect to North Korea across the western part of the Imjin River that flows roughly along the inter-Korean border.
It marked the first time in over a decade that the South Korean military has shot a civilian to death to bar defection. (Yonhap news)