SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The South Korean man who was shot dead on Monday when trying to cross a border river to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had sought refugee protection in Japan before making this fatal journey, a military official said Tuesday in a briefing. Japan rejected the man's application for a refugee status and expelled him from the country in June, Yonhap news agency quoted Army Brg. Gen. Jo Jong-seol, deputy operation commander at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as saying.
The deputy operator commander also said that the man had made similar requests in other countries. At 2:23 p.m. on Monday, the 47-year-old man, with his surname Nam, dived into Imjin River, which runs through the border in Paju, north of Seoul. He ignored border guards' warning of turning back and was shot dead by two rounds of fire, according to officials. The officials said a joint investigation team is currently conducting fingerprint testing. More than 25,000 people from the DPRK have crossed the heavily guarded border to South Korea, but it is rare that South Koreans try to enter the north side, local officials said.