bedo/iStockBy JOOHEE CHO, ABC News

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korean soldiers shot and killed a South Korean government civil servant drifting in their waters and then allegedly burned the corpse, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.

“We sternly warn that all responsibility for the brutal act committed towards our citizen lies solely with North Korea,” Ahn Young-ho, a top official from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a press briefing Thursday morning, demanding the North’s explanation and punishment for the persons in charge.

Pyongyang has not commented.

The 47-year-old official at the South’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries was reported missing on Monday from a fisheries patrol and monitoring boat on duty just 12 miles away from North Korean shores, close to South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island.

South Korea did not clarify why and how the man drifted into North Korea, but according to defense ministry officials, they have obtained intelligence that North Koreans discovered the man, father of two, “looking haggard and exhausted clutching a floating device” wearing a life jacket. North Korean troops wearing gas masks then questioned him “at a distance,” then allegedly fired shots.

It is unclear how South Korean officials obtained the information.

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