The Korean Central News Agency released the following report on October 29:
One month has passed since the unpleasant incident in which a south Korean citizen met a death after his illegal intrusion into the waters of the West Sea of Korea.
In the period, we immediately informed the south side of the results of investigation into the whole course of the incident, mirroring the intention of our supreme leadership in order to prevent the north-south trust and respect from further crumbling due to the sudden unwanted incident in the waters of the West Sea of Korea. We also conveyed our regret over the incident that happened in the waters under the control of our side.
Since then, we have tried our best to retrieve the dead body from the waters of the West Sea and return it to his family, but to no avail, to our regret.
We were sorry for this and decided to take sustained necessary measures in the future, too, in the relevant field.
But in the south side, unsavory acts of insulting our good faith and aiming at maximizing distrust and confrontation between the fellow countrymen have become so worse as to go beyond our patience, arousing concerns and resentment of our service personnel and people.
It is not that we have nothing to say to the south side over the incident.
To look back on the past, history has recorded a number of examples in which unimportant incidents in border areas spilled over into fierce exchange of fire even between countries that had been in peaceful relations.
The north and the south are now technically at war, not in peace, and the place of the incident is the hotspot in the West Sea where the two sides are standing in acute confrontation.
At that time, we did not know out of what intention the south Korean citizen illegally intruded into the waters under the control of our side and that person did not immediately respond to our interception. Therefore, it is certain how our soldiers on routine duty could have reacted, which is clear even to the south side.
But as the unexpected incident happened in the waters where our sovereignty is exercised, we conveyed our feelings of regret to the south side, taking into consideration the present state of the north-south relations, and also exercised the greatest patience to face the slandering of all descriptions from the south side after the incident.
But the conservative forces of south Korea, including the “People Power Party” with the idea of confrontation with the fellow countrymen steeped into the marrows of their bones, are hell-bent on slandering their fellow countrymen in the north by making such rhetoric as “atrocity” and “human rights abuses”. They are also raising a hue and cry, going imprudent in order to make the recent incident an opportunity for attaining their base political purposes.
They are even calling for bringing the issue to the international arena, including the UN, while faulting someone’s “human rights issue”.
From the beginning, they have been set to foster distrust and hostility toward the fellow countrymen and find out and snowball the excuses for blaming the present authorities’ incompetence, without making any endeavours for reasonable judgment of the whole story of the incident and proper solution.
To describe a helping hand of the fellow countrymen out of good faith as a hand taking a knife seems to be an inveterate bad habit of the conservative forces.
We have been fed up with the frenzy of the conservative forces prolonging their remaining days in confrontation with the fellow countrymen, but we cannot but take account of this, now that deliberate and conspiratorial ill story is constantly around over the incident.
As we have already mentioned in our notification to the south side, we told them clearly enough that our soldier could not but take self-defensive measure as he judged that the south Korean citizen who had made an illegal intrusion into the waters of the West Sea of Korea under the control of our side was about to flee, instead of responding to interception.
Had the south side made an advance notification to us that its citizen was coming to our waters?
As for the “defamation of the dead body” over which the conservative forces are ranting and raving, its truth has already been revealed by the south Korean military.
Explicitly speaking, the recent unsavoury incident in the waters of the West Sea of Korea resulted from the improper control of the citizen by the south side in the sensitive hotspot area at a time when there are tension and danger due to the malignant virus sweeping across south Korea. Therefore, the south side is the first to blame. This is our invariable stand.
It stands to reason to try to find one’s own mistake, before faulting others.
The group of conservative forces allegedly valuing “human rights” with great concern kept mum about a recent horrible death of its own citizen by a U.S. armoured vehicle, and also about the killing of a citizen by opening an indiscriminate machine gun fire at him when he was swimming across a river in the area along the Military Demarcation Line to enter the DPRK. Does it have face to talk about someone’s “human rights”?
We are clearly aware that the recent imprudent act of the conservative forces is designed to raise an unprecedented wind of anti-DPRK confrontation and “exposing of pro-communists” across south Korean society with the incident as a momentum, not because they are truly concerned for the lives and rights of people.
The false misrepresentation and smear campaign of the conservative forces can never tarnish the image of the dignified DPRK in which it has become a national trait to respect, love and value people despite whatever vicissitudes.
Clouds of uneasiness and discord still hang heavily in the relations between the north and the south due to those mad men crazy about escalating confrontation with the fellow countrymen and the political strife and about causing social chaos, being indifferent to the daily deterioration of people’s livelihood and spread of pandemic and being greedy for “power”. This is the present reality.
The present serious situation, in which all sorts of slandering the DPRK has gone beyond our patience and there are all indications of dangerous moves to lead this incident to international anti-DPRK smear campaign in south Korea, has resulted in affecting the limits of magnanimity and good faith which we have so far maintained.
We do not want to see the repetition of any unpleasant precedents in which accidental incidents led the north-south relations to a catastrophe. This is our stand.
We issue an advance warning to the south Korean conservative forces that their thoughtless confrontational act may invite greater misfortune.