Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Rescuers searched Monday for 18 North Korean crew members missing after their iron-ore laden cargo ship sank, the government said. Twelve surviving crew members and the recovered bodies of five sailors returned to North Korea on Sunday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The freighter sank Wednesday night with 35 crew aboard about 60 miles from Dandong, one of China's main gateways for trade with the isolated, impoverished North. The vessel was en route from the North Korean port of Nampo to Dandong with a cargo of iron ore. Xinhua said the chances of survival for the missing crew members "are believed to be slim."