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Seoul rejects N.K. demand to send back two sailors

South Korea said Thursday it will not repatriate two North Koreans who crossed the eastern sea border earlier this week, a development that could anger North Korea.

The two brothers clearly expressed their wish to stay in South Korea after sailing here on a small boat on Monday, according to South Korea’s Red Cross.

“We will handle the case by respecting their free will,” the Red Cross said in a message to its North Korean counterpart earlier in the day via its channel at the truce village of Panmunjom, which separates the two Koreas.

The rejection came a day after North Korea pressed South Korea to hand over its two citizens. 

(Yonhap News)
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