According to Pyongyang, the incident should not have happened, and South Korea is mobilizing dozens of naval vessels to find human remains.
North Korea said Sunday it was searching for the body of a South Korean officer killed by its troops, but warned that South Korean naval operations in the area would threaten to escalate tensions.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Friday issued a rare apology for the shooting death of a South Korean fisheries officer in North Korean waters.
Seoul then urged Pyongyang to investigate the massacre further, suggesting that it could be a joint investigation by both sides.
The South Korean military has accused the North Korean military of killing the man, fueling his body and setting it on fire near the sea border.
North Korean state news agency KCNA reported Sunday that the country’s authorities were considering ways to hand over the body if it was found in the south.
The report called it a “bad case,” but warned that South Korean naval operations near the scene had gone into North Korean waters.
“We call on the South to immediately stop infiltration across the military border in the West Sea, which could lead to increased tensions,” the KCNA said.
A spokesman for South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense did not immediately comment on the allegations.
South Korea searched 39 ships and six aircraft, including 16 naval vessels, which continued Sunday in defiance of North Korean complaints, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
KCNA reports that North Korea has launched its own search operation to recover the body.
“We have taken further necessary security measures to ensure that any incident that undermines trust and respect relations between the North and the South does not happen under any circumstances, which is true to the purpose of our supreme leadership,” he explained.