S. Korean man shot dead in attempt to cross border to NK

South Korean soldiers fatally shot a man who attempted to cross the Imjingang River to North Korea on Monday, the military said.

The incident occurred about 5 kilometers west of Imjingak, a pavilion near the Panmunjeom border village, in Paju, Gyeonggi Province.

The troops fired at the man, believed to be a civilian in his 40s, at 2:23 p.m. after he ignored warnings to return to the south side, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He jumped into the river and was holding onto the buoy at the time of shooting, the office said.

"(Opening fire) appears to have been an appropriate response. It was difficult for the sentry to verify whether (the man) was a civilian or a North Korean soldier," a military official said.

"The body has been retrieved from the river. The military will take the lead in the preliminary investigation, and other organizations will be included as necessary."

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)