North Korean soldiers shot a South Korean government official to death, according to an Associated Press report.

The latter allegedly attempted to defect South Korea.

The North Korean soldiers, later on, reduced the South Korean official’s body to ashes.

The 47-year-old from the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries disappeared Monday while on duty on a boat near Yeonpyeong island, per Yonhap News Agency.

Defection is the Solution

According to his colleagues, he never discussed defection, much less show any interest in Pyongyang, per Korea Times.

The maritime police, however, did not rule out the possibility of an attempted defection.

The official (identity withheld) got divorced months ago and was struggling to pay off his debts.

Rumor has it that he borrowed money amounting to more than $17,000 (20 million KRW), according to his colleagues.

Anti- Corona Virus Measure?

The North and South kept each border under constant surveillance.

Pyongyang, in particular, reportedly has a “shoot-on-sight” approach, according to BBC.

North Korea implemented the shoot-to-kill protocol to deter Coronavirus from coming into the country.

Hence, when the Northern patrol boat found the official floating and wearing a life jacket, they shot him. 

The soldiers then poured oil over his body before reducing him to ashes while at sea.

The Northern troops accordingly followed “orders from [a] superior authority”, per BBC.

Cruel and Inhumane 

South Korean President Moon Jae-in called the taking of life a “shocking” incident and therefore, not acceptable, BBC reported.

“This military action” of the North violated the “international regulations,” declared Secretary-General Suh-Choo-suk.

 “We will firmly respond to any action by North Korea that threatens the life and safety of our people,” added the National Security Council official.

The South Korean defense ministry said in a statement published by Yonhap News Agency that the North committed such a brutal act.

We “strongly condemn” what the North did and we “strongly urge” the North to explain. 

Lastly, the North should punish those who are responsible,” the Defense Ministry, in a statement added.

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