Sunday, July 13, 2008

North Korea Demands Apology After Killing South Korean Civilian
» by GI Korea

UPDATE: A picture of the victim, Park Wang-ja has been released:

Also a report from CNN shows that there are plenty of unanswered questions in regards to this killing:

Unification Minister Kim Ho-nyeon said Sunday that there were many unanswered questions about the shooting, such as how the middle-aged victim was able to cover a distance of 2 miles (3.3 kilometers) within 20 minutes walking on a beach. [CNN]

I wonder if she went for a jog on the beach?

This report pretty much debunks any claims of a fence that needed to be climbed:

A 23-year-old college student, Lee In-bok, said that he saw a woman strolling along the beach around 4:50 a.m. when he was with his friends there to see sunrise.

“About 5 to 10 minutes later, there were sounds of a gun twice, with an interval of about 10 seconds, and a scream. We saw a person on the ground and three soldiers moving to the person, touching her with their feet as if they were checking whether she was dead. We felt the soldiers watching us, so we returned to the hotel. We thought it was part of their drill,” he said.

Unlike Hyundai’s claim, Lee said people could enter the “restricted” zone easily and that there was nothing like fences, but simply a small brook.

A friend of Park also said she herself had strolled to the zone during the daytime the day before, and did not even know it was a restricted area because there was neither a fence nor a signboard.
[Korea Times]

Great not only isn’t there a fence but appears there wasn’t even a sign on the beach to warn tourists of the restricted area.

A typical North Korean reaction to the killing of the South Korean civilian at the Geumgang Mountain Resort:

But in the statement from a North Korean tourism bureau, Pyongyang said the tourist “intruded deep into the area under the military control of the North side all alone at dawn,” noting that even her “shoes got wet.”

The North said its soldier spotted the tourist and ordered her to stop, but that she ran away. The soldier “repeatedly shouted” at her to stop and fired warning shots, but then “could not but open fire” at the woman, according to the statement from the Guidance Bureau for Comprehensive Development of Scenic Spots.

“The responsibility for the incident entirely rests with the South side,” the bureau said in the statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The statement called for Seoul to apologize and take measures to prevent it from happening again. [Associated Press]

What would be so typical of South Korea would be if the ROK government actually apologized for North Korea killing one of their citizens. The North Koreans are responsible for chaperoning the South Korean civilians so matter what happened they are responsible for the death of the woman.

Anyway it appears at least North Korea is not even telling the truth about what happened because none of the South Korean witnesses heard any verbal warnings just gun shots:

Yonhap news agency cited a tourist who returned from the resort Friday as saying he saw a middle-aged woman dressed in black walking along the beach before hearing two gunshots and a scream about 10 minutes later.

“When I looked at the direction where the gunshots were heard, there was one person collapsed and three soldiers ran out of a forest and touched the person with their feet as if trying to see if that person is alive,” Yonhap quoted 23-year-old Lee In-bok, a college student, as saying.

Lee told Yonhap that he and five others witnessed the incident while at the beach to watch the sunrise and that they were about 300 meters away.

The North Koreans probably feel South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is politically weak right now due to the Cows Gone Wild madness and can get away with their demands with no repercussions, which is probably what will happen.


Now that the other tourists are back in South Korea, some of them are talking to the media. There was no wire fence, only a green fence that was passable at low tide as evidenced by photos in this story about the North’s refusal to allow an investigation of the site and demand for an apology:

The Chosun Ilbo is also reporting that a Korean minister was apprehended and returned after wandering into the same restricted area last year:

A fellow tourist is claiming to be a witness, saying he saw a woman walk past him at 4:30. 10-15 minutes later, he heard two shots 5-10 seconds apart and saw 3 soldiers bent over a fallen woman:

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