NATIONAL

Fisheries official NK shot dead tried to defect: coast guard

By Choi Si-young
  • Published : Oct 22, 2020 - 18:58
  • Updated : Oct 22, 2020 - 18:58

South Korea's Coast Guard searches for a missing Seoul fisheries official shot dead by North Korea, Sept. 25, 2020. (Yonhap)
The South Korean fisheries official who was shot dead by North Korea in the West Sea near the maritime border in late September was making defection, the Korea Coast Guard reaffirmed Thursday.

“The missing official was a heavy gambler. We judge that he may have been mentally disturbed and attempted defection to the North to escape reality,” the Coast Guard told a press briefing, concluding its investigation into the case.

According to its findings, the official, who was in his 40s, made a total of 159 wire transfers in the past 15 months to gambling sites. He even made a transfer about an hour before he was about to work the night shift before he went missing. He was wearing a life jacket when the North Korea guards found him in their waters, according to the Coast Guard.

The chances that the official lost his footing or attempted to take his life were extremely low, it added.

By Choi Si-young (siyoungchoi@heraldcorp.com)