Jan. 12 (UPI) — A South Korean politician who is running for mayor of Seoul said he met with the family of a fisheries official who was shot and murdered in North Korea last year.
Ahn Cheol-soo, 58, a center-right candidate with the minor opposition People’s Party, said in a Facebook post he met with the wife of the slain official and their son in Busan, Newsis reported Tuesday.
In his statement on the meeting, Ahn, a multimillionaire entrepreneur who is also a medical doctor, said he promised to “find the truth” about the circumstances that led to the death of the South Korean citizen in the North.
“I told them I will certainly find out why [the South Korean government] let go of the death of a citizen, and that I will hold relevant persons accountable,” Ahn said.
“I will keep this promise, no matter what happens.”
In September, the North Korean navy fatally shot and burned the body of the South Korean man, identified as Lee Dae-jun by Human Rights Watch, near the maritime border on the western coast of the peninsula.
Seoul has called for a cooperative joint investigation with the North, but Pyongyang never replied to the offer. The 47-year-old South Korean victim’s brother, Lee Rae-jin, said his sibling was a patriotic public servant and that the government was framing him with claims of defection.
On Tuesday, Ahn said the son of the slain man was a junior in high school who had written a letter to President Moon Jae-in, urging Moon “to protect his father’s honor.” Ahn said the government has not kept its promises to the grieving family, and that the administration has “torn the hearts” of Lee’s family.
Ahn is the most popular candidate for mayor among all politicians, but with more conservatives entering the race, his rivals could cost him the by-election, which is scheduled for April. Former Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon is considering a run, according to CBS No Cut News on Tuesday.