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The South Korean fisheries official was said to be cremated after being shot following an attempt to defect to the North. He was reported missing from a South Korean fisheries patrol boat when it was about six miles from the disputed line of military control between the two sides.
The official’s colleagues on the boat noticed he was missing at around lunch time.
They realised that only his shoes were left on the vessel which led to an air and sea search.
At the moment it is unknown exactly why the man was shot.
But North Korea has reportedly been ordered to act under anti-coronavirus measures.
Earlier this month, the US military commander in South Korea warned that North Korean soldiers have been given “shoot-to-kill orders” to prevent COVID-19 entering the country.
Most defections tend to involve North Koreans heading to the South.
However, this year has so far seen a spike in high-profile border crossings.
Last week, South Korean police arrested a defector who allegedly tried to return to the North.
The South Korean officials claimed the defector had tried to break into a military training site in the South’s border town of Cheorwon.
The defector had originally fled to South Korea in 2018.
A South Korean policewoman said at the time: “The man is under police investigation.
“We are looking into details such as why he tried to cross the border.”
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A man who had defected to South Korea three years ago returned to the North in July.
He sparked a huge coronavirus scare after he crossed the heavily monitored disputed border.
But North Korea has still not reported any COVID-19 cases in the country.
The man’s return caused North Korean officials to lock down a city on the border.
North Korean officials also quarantined thousands of people due to fears that the returned defector might have had been infected with the coronavirus.
However, the World Health Organization said his tests results were inconclusive.
South Korea identified the man only by his surname, Kim.
Mr Kim was facing a sexual assault investigation in South Korea before he crossed the border to the North.
South Korean military officials said he evaded border control systems by crawling through a drain pipe and then swam across the Han River to the North.
He is believed to have used a similar route when he originally defected to the South in 2017.
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