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Kim Jong-un orders probe into recent shooting death of S. Korean official: spy agency

All News 17:17 November 03, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's state intelligence agency said Tuesday that there is circumstantial evidence indicating that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered a probe into the military's fatal shooting in September of a South Korean fisheries official, according to lawmakers.

Officials from the National Intelligence Service (NIS) made the remarks during a parliamentary intelligence committee's regular audit session into the agency, lawmakers who attended the meeting said.

"According to intelligence, there are circumstantial signs of (North Korea) carrying out a search for the body (of the slain official)," one of the official was quoted as saying during the closed-door session.

"(NIS) detected circumstantial signs indicating that Chairman Kim ordered a probe into details of the incident," the official said.

The remarks were relayed to the media by Rep. Ha Tae-keung of the main opposition People Power Party and Rep. Kim Byung-kee of the ruling Democratic Party, both senior members at the intelligence committee.

Asked if the order called for a fresh probe on top of the initial investigation allegedly conducted by the North, Kim said, "As far as we understand, yes."

Three days after the North Korean military shot the 47-year-old official to death on the northern side of the maritime border in the Yellow Sea, Pyongyang said in a notification sent to South Korea on Sept. 25 that it was launching an internal probe into the case.

The NIS official also said the North Korean military reduced the use of its communication networks and changed its communication slang after details about the military communication lines were exposed to South Korean media following the shooting incident.

Park Jie-won, the director of the National Intelligence Service, is seen ahead of the parliamentary audit into the agency on Nov. 3, 2020, at the agency's headquarters in Seoul. (Yonhap)

pbr@yna.co.kr
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