When North Korean soldiers found a South Korean fisherman on their territory, they shot and burned his body. The incident was so shocking that Kim Jong Un later apologized.
Details are mostly sketchy and sketchy, but how and why a life jacket-wearing official ended up on the so-called northern border in September 2020 is the subject of fierce political debate in the South.
Was it Lee Dae-jung, a 47-year-old official running away from a gambling debt, citing information that current President Moon Jae-in's government says has been hidden for 30 years?
Or is this version of events really a smear campaign and a high-level cover-up, as Yoon Seok-yeol's new government blamed the house raid on a former intelligence chief and how the previous administration handled the matter?
Intelligence agencies have destroyed evidence that former head Park Ji Won Lee had no intention of moving to Pyongyang.
Park told AFP that the allegations were "political retaliation from the previous administration", dismissing the allegations as baseless.
New administration in Seoul It launched an investigation into a second bombing in 2019 that resulted in the deportation of two North Korean fishermen after admitting 16 crew members died at sea.
The UN's conservative government has released a hilarious video of the couple reluctantly crossing the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and heading back north.
Moon's government said at the time that the brutality of the killing meant that the men did not deserve the usual protection for North Korean defectors and could not be considered refugees.
Analysts say the political controversy over the two cases highlights the dangers of classified information and interpretation of the law.
Critics say Yoon's hawks, who have struggled with low approval ratings during the last few months of his presidency, are resorting to old-school red tape to try and salvage his popularity among disgruntled voters.
"For conservatives, these two cases are examples of North Korea being subdued by liberals," lawyer and writer Yoo Chung-hoon told AFP.
“The timing of the investigation after the change of power raises questions about a political motive,” he said.
Yang's supporters say the former attorney general, who won the March election and vowed to crack down on Pyongyang after years of failed diplomacy, is trying to undermine it.
Shin Yeol, a professor at Myeonggi University, said, "It would be even more problematic if the prosecutors decided to ignore the allegations and bury them for fear of being branded as a 'political investigation.'
Lawyers said that the case does not comply with the country's constitution.
Prosecuting poachers in South Korean courts would be unprecedented as it is not clear if local courts would have jurisdiction.
An article in the South Korean constitution describes the country's territory as the "Korean Peninsula".
Yoon suggested that the sentence should mean that the men would be considered South Korean citizens and tried at home.
But the next paragraph acknowledges the existence of two separate states on the peninsula and pledges to work towards "peaceful integration" with the North.
Kim Jong-dae, a researcher at the Yonsei Institute for the Study of North Korea, said, "Seoul should take a realistic approach to dealing with North Korea."
The Yun administration accused the Moon Kingdom of sending hunters north "right to their death".
But critics say the president is prioritizing "revenge politics" over more pressing political issues such as inflation and a falling currency.
According to Kim Jong-de, the desire to bring officials to justice without providing clear counter-evidence in any case seems doubtful.
"The administration is putting pressure on the Department of Corrections by taking the initiative of the prosecution," he said.
“It is one thing to ask questions and look for answers about how the previous government dealt with these two problems. But it is quite another to scrutinize former officials and inevitably question their political motives.”