(ReliableNews.org) – A United Nations (UN) special investigator condemned Pyongyang for the Sept. 22 slaying of a South Korean fisheries official by North Korean soldiers after he left his ship and drifted into territorial waters claimed by the North.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered a rare apology to the South Korean government a few days later, but UN investigator Tomás Ojea Quintana told the Voice of America on Sept. 30 that Kim Jong-un’s statement fell short of an actual apology.
Kim Jong Un statement ‘not an apology.’ U.N. investigator says https://t.co/6A4nqjMxfi
— UPI.com (@UPI) September 30, 2020
Quintana stated that it was commendable that Kim Jon-un expressed remorse for the “unexpected and unfortunate” incident. However, the North Korean leader also stated that the soldiers involved in the incident acted lawfully when shooting the unnamed South Korean official.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies concurred with that assessment, calling Kim Jong-un’s message a “non-apology apology” and a mind-trick intended as a subtle rebuke of South Korea.
Whether South Korea accepts Kim Jong-un’s apology or not remains to be seen. However, with the years-long deterioration of inter-Korean relations, even a poorly constructed apology could prove an important step in de-escalating the tension surrounding the incident.
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