North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has issued a rare apology for the killing of a South Korean official, according to the South’s presidential office.
Mr Kim reportedly told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that the incident should not have happened.
South Korea has said the 47-year-old man was allegedly trying to defect to North Korea when he was found by troops floating in the North’s waters.
He was then shot dead and his body was set alight, according to Seoul.
The border between the Koreas is tightly policed, and the North is thought to have a “shoot-to-kill” policy in place to prevent coronavirus from entering the country.
The apology came in the form of a letter sent to President Moon and acknowledged that the incident should not have happened, according to an official.
Mr Kim said he felt “very sorry” for “disappointing” Mr Moon, reported news agency Yonhap, quoting the Blue House.
The North also released more details of the incident, saying that 10 shots were fired at the man.
It clarified that it had not burned the man’s body but rather the “floating material” that was carrying him, said director of national security Suh Hoon.