FM meets brother of S. Korean official killed by N. Korea

Date: 2020-10-21T10:29:59+09:00


SEOUL, Oct. 21 (Yonhap) -- Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Wednesday met with the elder brother of a South Korean fisheries official killed by North Korea near the western sea border last month.

Kang's meeting with Lee Rae-jin, the brother of the deceased official, came amid criticism that her ministry has been lukewarm about the family's calls to bring international attention to delve deeper into the incident.

"I am here to protest about North Korea and (talk about) China's cooperation and the U.N. General Assembly, and hear the foreign ministry's position on the matter," Lee told reporters before the closed-door meeting with the minister.

The 47-year-old official was fatally shot by the North Korean military on Sept. 22 while adrift in North Korean waters. An interim government probe found that the official attempted to defect to the North.

But his family, including the brother and the late official's son, has strongly questioned the probe outcome and appealed to the United Nations for an investigation.

Kang said in a parliamentary audit session earlier this month that she was willing to meet the bereaved family in person. The foreign ministry has said the case needs further review and discussions within the government.

North Korea apologized over the incident but has not responded to Seoul's calls for a joint probe.

The Seoul office of the U.N. human rights body interviewed Lee last week for its own analysis on the case. The office has called on the two Koreas to conduct an investigation into the incident in line with international human rights law.