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‘N. Korea’s Initial Report on Tourist Shooting Was Not True’

‘N. Korea’s Initial Report on Tourist Shooting Was Not True’

Posted July. 16, 2008 08:17,   


Hyundai Asan, the South Korean operator of tours to Mount Geumgang, said yesterday that North Korea’s initial report on Friday’s tourist shooting sent to South Korea was not true.

Hyundai Asan CEO Yoon Man-joon said yesterday after returning to the South, “Though not sufficiently, I heard a little bit about the incident (from the North). It appears certain differences were in the initial report that was submitted shortly after the incident.”

A Hyundai Asan source said Yoon and his team checked the distance covered by Park Wang-ja Friday morning, when the shooting occurred, and concluded that her move in time quoted by the North was impossible.

The report the company prepared based on Pyongyang’s account said, “Park left the hotel at 4:30 a.m. When she came up to a rock in the restricted military zone, a North Korean guard told her to stop. But she ran toward the beach, and the guard chased her for about a kilometer and fired warning shots.”

Hyundai Asan found in its investigation that the distance between the hotel and the fence marking the zone is 1,080 meters. An ordinary adult would need about 14 minutes to cover that distance.

Furthermore, it also found that point to be 1.2 kilometers away from the guard’s post. Against this backdrop, the company rejected as untrue the North’s claim that it took 20 to 30 minutes for Park to go from the hotel to the rock and to return to within a kilometer of the hotel.

Yoon reportedly reported to South Korea’s Unification Ministry that the shooting is believed to have occurred around 5 a.m.

Pyongyang said the surveillance camera installed in the military zone was not working at the time of the incident, he added.

The North has also ignored the South’s demand for an investigation into the incident. Through the liaison office at the truce village of Panmunjom, Seoul tried four times Saturday to deliver a phone notification on the demand, after which the message was released to the media.