Tragic defianceTen days have passed since a South Korean tourist at the Mount Kumgang resort was shot to death, but the North still hasn’t given any proper response to the tragedy.
All the North has done is release a statement in the name of a North Korean spokesman that puts the blame squarely on the South.
North Korea is refusing to accept a fair demand made by the South that the two parties join together to get to the bottom of the case through detailed field investigation.
The North’s behavior cannot be justified on any level.
Furthermore, the controversy over details of the accident continues. The North insists that a military guard fired four rounds, including one warning shot, and that the exact time was 4:55 a.m.
However, this account differs from other eyewitnesses’s accounts. Three tourists near where the accident took place heard two gunshots at intervals of approximately ten seconds. The witnesses said there was a loud sound of a rifle shot after 5:15 a.m.
A university student who filmed the spot with his digital camera presented a photo as evidence. He said that he heard a gunshot after taking his shots at 5:16 a.m. When we view the photo, there is plenty light from the rising sun. It is clear to anyone that the North Korean army killed the tourist in cold blood.
If the North insists four shots were fired, why do several tourists claim they heard only two?
Why is there such a discrepancy between the times people say when the tragedy took place? The unilateral explanation by the North is hard to believe, and so it is commonsense, if not due process, that a joint investigation is made.
The North should be fully aware that all South Korean people are indignant with the North over the accident, regardless of whether or not they support the North Korean policy implemented by the Lee Myung-bak administration. They should bear in mind that any government has the responsibility to deal strongly with the death of one of its citizens in such tragic circumstances.
If the North has not decided to sever ties with the South, it should cooperate in a joint field investigation conducted by the two parties’ responsible representatives.
The North should realize that, if it refuses to agree, the South-North relationship will only get worse, which will be the fault of the North.