Pyongyang on Sunday warned the South Korean Navy to cross over its territorial waters during its search operation to find the body of a southern official killed at sea after northern soldiers shot him.
Official media reported that North Korea will launch its own operation to search for the body, pointing out that the maritime movements to the south threaten to stir up tension.
The South official in the fishing sector was killed by North Korean soldiers on Tuesday, in the first such incident in a decade, prompting North leader Kim Jong Un in a rare gesture to apologize to the South Korean president.
The South Korean army accused the North Korean soldiers of pouring fuel on the man’s body and burning it after he was shot.
North Korea’s Central News Agency said Sunday that the killing of the South official was “horrific and should not have happened,” adding that Pyongyang has begun organizing its own search operation in its waters to help locate the body. She added that the country is studying “procedures and methods for handing over anybody to the Korean side (…) if we find it during the search process.”
But it indicated that South Korean ships near the site of the accident cross the northern waters.
On Saturday, South Korea called on its northern neighbor to conduct an additional investigation into the shooting and said it would request a joint investigation if necessary.
It is extremely rare for North Korea, and indeed Kim personally, to apologize. The message comes in light of the stalemate in inter-Korean relations and the stalled nuclear talks between Pyongyang and Washington