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North Korea seizes South Korean fishing boat


North Korea seizes South Korean fishing boat

Old 07-30-2009, 05:26 AM
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Default North Korea seizes South Korean fishing boat

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea is investigating a South Korean fishing boat and its four-member crew that it seized Thursday after the vessel strayed into the country's waters, the South Korean government said.
The incident came amid tensions on the divided peninsula over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, and as the two Koreas have been mired in a standoff for more than a year over Seoul's tough policy toward Pyongyang.
Early Thursday morning, a North Korean patrol boat took the 29-ton fishing boat "800 Yeonan" into custody after it crossed into the North's eastern waters, apparently because its satellite navigation system malfunctioned, an official at South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.
The official, who spoke on customary condition of anonymity, said the boat was taken to North Korea's eastern port of Jangjon, just north of the border.
South Korea asked the North to quickly release the vessel and crew, Seoul's Unification Ministry said, citing Seoul's repatriation of North Korean fishing boats in recent years.
An unidentified North Korean maritime official told a South Korean counterpart by telephone that "a related agency is investigating" the incident, the ministry said. The South asked the North to keep it informed of developments and the North said it would do so, according to the ministry, which handles relations with the North.
North Korea's state news agency, monitored in Seoul, carried no reports on the incident.
Following the seizure, dozens of demonstrators gathered in central Seoul to denounce the North and call for the immediate release of the fishing boat and crew. Some burned a North Korean flag and a photo of the country's leader, Kim Jong Il, and one believed to be of his third son, Kim Jong Un, who has come under intense media scrutiny in recent months as a possible successor.
Relations between the two Koreas deteriorated last year after a pro-U.S., conservative government took office in Seoul, advocating a tougher policy on the North. In retaliation, Pyongyang cut off ties and halted all major joint projects except an industrial complex located just across the border in North Korea.
The North has been holding a South Korean worker at the complex since March for allegedly denouncing its political system. South Korea has repeatedly demanded his release, but so far the North has not allowed any access to him.
The two countries are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty. Both keep a close watch on their land and sea borders.
Maritime incidents between the two sides involving fishing boats and other commercial vessels occur from time to time and are generally resolved amicably.
However, the countries' disputed western maritime border has been the scene of deadly fighting in the past.
In June 2002, six South Korean troops died when North Korea sank a South Korean patrol boat in the area. In June 1999, about 30 North Korean sailors are believed to have died when their boat sank in a clash with South Korea, the first naval conflict between the two sides since the Korean War.
TimW Texas is offline  
Old 07-30-2009, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TimW Texas View Post

Early Thursday morning, a North Korean patrol boat took the 29-ton fishing boat "800 Yeonan" into custody after it crossed into the North's eastern waters, apparently because its satellite navigation system malfunctioned ...

Probably a RayMarine GPS.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:37 PM
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They still have the USS Pueblo.

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