South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae reiterated Saturday that there was no government attempt to cover up the fact that a North Korean ship recently crossed the maritime boundary into the South undeterred.
Presidential spokeswoman Ko Min-jung made the remarks in a Facebook post as opposition politicians stepped up their accusations that the military failed in its coastal and maritime defense operations amid the government's push for inter-Korean reconciliation.
The fishing boat carrying four North Koreans was found at a port in the northeastern coastal city of Samcheok about 130 kilometers away from the Northern Limit Line (NLL), the de facto sea border, on June 15.
"We confirm again that there was no intention of any cover-up," the spokeswoman said.
"(We) hope that this incident will not lead to further partisan strife ... The government will try to swiftly discover the exact facts and make (the outcome of the investigation) public," she added.
The incident triggered apologies from Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo.
Critics, mostly conservatives, were quick to denounce the government and allege the possibility of loopholes in the South's defense posture against the North.(Yonhap)