Saturday, August 01, 2009
Navy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) seized a South Korean ship on Thursday when "it illegally intruded deep into the DPRK territorial waters in the East Sea of Korea," the KCNA reported Saturday. The report also said that "a relevant institution is conducting concrete investigation into it." The report did not give other details about the seized boat. The South Korean government said on Thursday that a fishing vessel was seized by a DPRK patrol boat after crossing the East Sea border in the morning. South Korean Defense Ministry spokesperson Lee Bung-woo, said in Seoul that the 29-ton boat named "800 Yonan," with four crew members on board, was hauled to the port of Jangjon at 9:30 a.m. local time (0030 GMT). "The satellite navigation system on the boat appears to have malfunctioned," Lee said, adding that it crossed about seven miles into the DPRK's waters when it was seized at around 6:30 a.m. local time (2130GMT).The squid-fishing boat, departing the port of Geojin, Gangwon Province, on the eastern coast at 1:30 p.m. (0430 GMT) on Wednesday, was scheduled to return to its port Friday morning, he said. Lee also said the South Korean government was pushing for the vessel's release. It was the third ship-seizing incident since 2005 when a South Korean fishing boat named "Hwangman" was captured by the DPRK authorities. In December 2006, a South Korean vessel named "Woojin" was also seized after crossing the border. The two previous boats were released after nearly three and 18 days, respectively, according to media reports.