Kim Jong-un ‘apologises for killing of South Korean official’

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has issued a rare personal apology for the killing of a South Korean official, Seoul says.

Mr Kim reportedly told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that the incident should not have happened.

South Korea has said the 47-year-old man was allegedly trying to defect to North Korea when he was found by troops floating in the North’s waters.

He was then shot dead and his body was set alight, according to Seoul.

The border between the Koreas is tightly policed, and the North is thought to have a “shoot-to-kill” policy in place to prevent coronavirus from entering the country.

The apology came in the form of a letter sent to President Moon and acknowledged that the incident should not have happened, according to South Korea’s Blue House.

Mr Kim said he felt “very sorry” for “disappointing” Mr Moon and the South Korean people, the Blue House said.

The North also gave the South the results of its investigation into the incident. It said more than 10 shots were fired at the man, who had entered North Korean waters and then failed to reveal his identity and tried to flee, South Korea’s director of national security Suh Hoon said.

The North clarified that it had not burned the man’s body but rather the “floating material” that was carrying him.

“The troops could not locate the unidentified trespasser during a search after firing the shots, and burned the device under national emergency disease prevention measures,” Mr Suh told a briefing, referring to the letter.

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