By Lee Min-young, Kim Kang-min
"Before what happened to my brother, I used to take great pride in my country. I strongly believed that the South Korean government would do anything to protect its people under any circumstances." Lee Rae-jin, the older brother of the South Korean official who was shot dead and burned by North Koreans, was filled with resentment when he spoke to the Korea Times.
"My brother would have been desperately waiting for the maritime forces and his older brother to come find him. And now he has become a defector." Lee said.
On Sep. 27, a South Korean official at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries was confirmed to have been shot dead on the spot by North Korean troops who later poured oil over his body and set it alight in waters near the two countries' maritime border.
Subsequently, the South Korean government announced the official who had gambling debts must have swam towards the North with the help of a life jacket and a floatation device with the intention to defect.
The dead official's older brother immediately accused the Coast Guard for concluding that his brother was a defector and disgracing the deceased based on circumstantial evidence.