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Warrant sought for Chinese fishermen as Seoul protests

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Published : 2012-05-01 19:58
Updated : 2012-05-01 19:58

The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on Tuesday summoned the consul general of the Chinese Embassy in Seoul to lodge a complaint over Chinese fishermen’s attack on Korean patrol officials a day earlier.

The ministry said it strongly remonstrated the Chinese fishermen’s violent resistance to Korean officials’ law enforcement and urged that such incidents never happen again.
Coast Guard officers haul in Chinese sailors on Monday after they attacked and injured Korean officers. (Yonhap News)

The ministry told the consul general that the fines for operating unlicensed fishing boats, invading Korean waters and using violence will be raised from the current 100 million won (about $88,500) to 200 million, and that related rules will be revised to toughen punishment.

The ministry also called on the Chinese authorities to tighten guidance on their fishermen.

The Chinese consul general expressed regret and said he will relay Seoul’s message to Beijing.

Four Korean officers suffered severe injuries in an attack by Chinese fishermen as they attempted to board the Chinese vessel during a crackdown operation early Monday off the coast of Hongdo in South Jeolla Province.

The Mokpo Coast Guard on Tuesday requested arrest warrants for the captain and the navigator of the Chinese vessel.

The two Chinese men, both surnamed Wang, are suspected of injuring the Korean officials using weapons.

The Coast Guard also imposed a 15 million won ($13,292) bail for the release of the detained fishing boat and freed the remaining seven Chinese sailors not involved in the assault.

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)

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