DPRK spokesman: S. Korean tourist responsible for her death

2008-07-12 15:38:34 GMT       2008-07-12 23:38:34 (Beijing Time)       

Bang Young-min, husband of Park Wang-ja, who was shot and killed at a mountain resort in DPRK, cries in front of Park's portrait during her funeral service at a hospital in Seoul July 12, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Officials from the National Institute of Scientific Investigation (NISI) transport the body of Park Wang-ja, who was shot and killed at a mountain resort in DPRK, at the headquarters of the NISI in Seoul July 11, 2008. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

PYONGYANG, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) regrets the death of a South Korean tourist killed by a DPRK soldier but the woman should take full responsibility for the incident, a DPRK spokesman said Saturday.

South Korean government should take full responsibilities, make an apology to the DPRK and promise that a similar incident would never happen again, said the spokesman for the DPRK Guidance Bureau for Comprehensive Development of Scenic Spots.

The 53-year-old woman, identified as Park Wang-ja, was shot dead early Friday morning after crossing into a restricted military zone while visiting the DPRK's famed Mount Geumgang resort, the DPRK's Korean Central News Agency reported.

The DPRK soldier opened fire after a warning shot as the woman kept running away despite repeated orders for her to stop, said the spokesman.

The suspension of the South Koreans' tour to Mount Geumgang announced by South Korean government on Friday is a move of challenge and insult to the DPRK, he said.

The DPRK, for its part, will not accept any South Korean visitors before South Korea makes an apology and takes proper measures, he said.

Meanwhile, the DPRK rejects the demand by South Korea to allow its investigators to enter the DPRK to help probe the incident, as "the cause of the incident is very clear," said the spokesman,

The DPRK side has already checked the incident scene with South Korea's Hyundai Asan company, the operator of the inter-Korean tourist program, he added.

About 1.88 million South Korean tourists have visited the DPRK's Mount Geumgang resort since the joint project kicked off in 1998. South Korea announced on Friday the suspension of tours to Mount Geumgang until the probe into the incident is completed.

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