South Korea Calls on Kim for Joint Probe Into Fatal Shooting


South Korea invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to participate in a joint probe into the fatal shooting of one of its nationals north of the border, after the regime warned South Korea over its maritime search for the body.

North Korea should be “open-minded” toward investigating the incident as soon as possible, given the differences between the two Koreas’ findings, South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement following an emergency security meeting on Sunday. The joint investigation should involve restarting communication using a military hotline that has been cut off since June, the office said.

Finding the man’s body and his personal belongings is important not just for the investigation itself, but as a humanitarian gesture toward the man’s bereaved family, according to the statement. South Korea will also seek cooperation from the Chinese government given there are Chinese fishing boats working near the inter-Korean maritime border, it said.

The request came hours after the regime warned South Korea not to intrude into Northern territorial waters as part of its search operation. South Korea’s search did not involve crossing the so-called Northern Limit Line, a de facto maritime border which North Korea disputes, Yonhap News reported Sunday, citing an unidentified coast guard official.

In addition to the warning, North Korea said it is also searching for the man’s body and will hand it over to South Korea if it is found.

Responding to Kim’s rare apology over the killing, South Korea sees the regime’s promise to not repeat that kind of incident as a “positive” action, according to the statement.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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