What is the Korean word for chutzpah?

Whatever the word is, it should be applied to this story.

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea said South Korea was to blame for the shooting death of a South Korean tourist in the communist nation, demanding an apology Saturday and saying it would ban visits to a mountain resort where Seoul has already suspended tours since the killing.

The North also rejected a South Korean request for investigators to visit the scene of Friday’s shooting, claiming it has already clarified what happened with the South Korean tour company that runs the trips to the mountain on the peninsula’s eastern coast.

Pyongyang’s stance was certain to exacerbate tensions between the Koreas, which have flared since South Korea’s new conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office in February.

Earlier on Saturday, Lee denounced the killing of 53-year-old housewife Park Wang-ja and urged the North to cooperate in the investigation.

“What cannot and should not happen has happened,” Lee told a security ministers’ meeting, according to his office.

“I can’t understand that they shot a civilian tourist” at a time of the day when it is possible to discern she is a civilian, Lee said. He also urged Pyongyang to “actively cooperate” in an investigation.

But in the statement from a North Korean tourism bureau, Pyongyang said the tourist “intruded deep into the area under the military control of the North side all alone at dawn,” noting that even her “shoes got wet.”

The North said its soldier spotted the tourist and ordered her to stop, but that she ran away. The soldier “repeatedly shouted” at her to stop and fired warning shots, but then “could not but open fire” at the woman, according to the statement from the Guidance Bureau for Comprehensive Development of Scenic Spots.

“The responsibility for the incident entirely rests with the South side,” the bureau said in the statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The statement called for Seoul to apologize and take measures to prevent it from happening again.

Yes the death of Park Wang-ja is directly attributable to South Koreans. They have no appreciation of life in North Korea, and what they are missing. Like those 3 million people who died due to a famine during the 90’s, and citizens today who go digging through cow dung for three kernels of corn.(Time to turn off the sarcasm)

This is the original Yonhap news report of what happened.

According to North Korean authorities and Hyundai Asan, the tourist — identified by her family name of Park — was shot in the chest and leg after she entered a North Korean military zone during an early morning walk near Haegeumgang Beach.

The North said Park had crossed over wire entanglements and ignored several orders to stop issued by a soldier on guard. When she tried to flee, the soldier first fired a warning shot, and then shot her dead.

Park was shot at 4:30am, died at 5:00, but North Korea waited until 9:20 to tell inform Hyundai Asan of what happened. The body was shipped back to the South in the afternoon and is now in storage at Sokcho Hospital.

A Hyundai Asan official said he understood Park had met with tragedy after she unwittingly entered a prohibited military zone, and that they were talking with the North about how to handle the incident.

It doesn’t need being said, but I’ll do it anyway. There is something seriously wrong with a country that finds it necessary to shoot unarmed middle aged women for trespassing.

The Blogs ROK Drop, One Free Korea, and Marmot’s Hole have excellent coverage of this still breaking story. Robert Koehler at Marmot’s quipping about the lack of outrage from some quarters-

After all, she was only an unarmed civilian shot in the back by Stalinists. Not like she died from eating US beef or anything

No doubt about it, there are people on both sides of the 38th parallel who need their heads examined.

Maybe I should know the word for chutzpah. For the second time in less than a year, someone called my home phone number this morning thinking it is one for a Jewish synagogue. Since my wife works at our local Catholic Church, she often gets called by parishioners at home. We must be some kind of religious clearinghouse down here.

Hat tip- Japundit for the Cow dung story.

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