SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- Military officials discovered the dead body of a suspected North Korean man in a coastal area of a western island last week, intelligence officials said Saturday.
They found the body, presumed to be of a North Korean civilian, last Friday on Ganghwa Island, 50 kilometers west of Seoul, prompting a joint investigation by the National Intelligence Service, the military and other related agencies, according to the officials.
Authorities have also discovered items suspected to be drugs with the body and have requested further analysis by the National Forensic Service.
They are reportedly looking into the possibility that the man tried to swim across the western Northern Limit Line, the de facto inter-Korean maritime border, while carrying drugs.
If the investigation finds that the body is of a civilian, the case will be handed over to the unification ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs. It will then decide whether to return the body to North Korea in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.