According to Gen. Ahn Young-ho, a senior official with the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, an employee of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries lost in waters 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) south of Yeonpyeong Islands on September 21. .
The islands are located near the sea border between North and South Korea, and at one point the official crossed into North Korean waters, and then, according to South Korean intelligence, North Korean forces opened fire and killed the South Korean. Ahn said that they later burned his body.
The South Korean military said in a statement that it “strongly condemns the atrocities committed by North Korea” and urged Pyongyang to provide an explanation and punish those responsible.
“In addition, we strongly warn that North Korea is responsible for the atrocities committed against our fellow countrymen,” the statement added.
The deterioration in relations came after years of rapprochement led by South Korean President Moon Jae-in that resulted in historic meetings between him and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as well as summit meetings between Kim and US President Donald Trump.