North Korea on Friday returned the body of a South Korean man found drifting in waters off the east coast, the Unification Ministry said.
The North handed over the body, along with the man’s belongings, at the truce village of Panmunjom, along the inter-Korean border, at 9:30 a.m., according to ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee.
“The central committee of North Korea’s Red Cross said it found the body of someone who appeared to be a South Korean citizen in waters near Yodo of the North’s Kangwon Province, and yesterday expressed its will to hand it over,” Jeong said during a regular press briefing.
The body was found with a social security card that identified the man as a 32-year-old South Korean surnamed Choi.
The government tried to reach his family at the address on his social security number but it was found to be incorrect, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity. The government plans to look into details, such as the cause of his death.
Although the two Koreas remain technically at war following the 1950-53 Korean War that ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, they have in similar situations returned the bodies of each other’s citizens from a humanitarian standpoint.