Lee Rae-jin, elder brother of the civil servant from South Korea’s Oceans and Fisheries Ministry who had been killed by the North Korean military in the Yellow Sea, raised again the possibility of his brother losing his footing before being killed. Lee did so at a people’s parliamentary inspection of the government, which was hosted by the main opposition People’s Power Party on Sunday.
Lee attended a people’s parliamentary inspection of the government to learn the truth behind the shooting death of the civil servant, which took place at the office of the party’s chairman on the day. “My younger brother was a team leader of a speed boat. Chances are high that he could have lost his footing while working in the boat,” Lee said. Commenting on the South Korean government’s claim that the ill-fated younger brother might have attempted to defect to the North, Lee said, “My younger brother went missing, and the government should treat him with dignity accordingly.”
“(The government) is only pretending as if searching for my brother after his death,” Lee added. “The government should not commit an honor killing of my brother on his death.”
Shin Joong-geun, the head of the fishing village fraternity who attended the inspection session along with Lee, also supported the possibility of the late civil servant having lost his footing. “I think he might have lost his footing before being killed,” Shin said, citing the direction of current and strength of winds on the day of the incident.
Based on remarks by Lee and others, the People’s Power Party emphasized again that the South Korean government should be held responsible for the tragedy, saying that the government only focused on finding evidence on the civil servant’s defection to the North, rather than trying to rescue him. The party originally sought to select Lee as witness for the parliamentary inspection of the government.
Lee demanded he take the witness stand, which was rejected by the ruling Democratic Party of Korea. Then, the main opposition party chose to independently hold a meeting dubbed “people’s parliamentary inspection” at the National Assembly on the day.